A mom’s advice on getting through temporary drug shortages

By Regence
December 29, 2022
shopping for medications

With the spread of children’s respiratory illness right now, we asked one of our pharmacists, who’s a mother of two, for advice on navigating the shortages of kid’s medications. Here are her top three tips:

  • If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, make sure it’s in stock at your pharmacy before you leave the doctor’s office. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different strength or an alternative medication that is available.
  • Often pharmacies have networks of other pharmacies they can tap into. Ask your pharmacist to call around to other pharmacies or locations. Some large pharmacy chains have integrated computer systems so they can quickly identify where a drug can be found.
  • For over-the-counter meds, please only buy what you need to get through this surge. She said, “As a mom, my impulse was to buy all the cold medicine I could for my kids, but I resisted that impulse and just bought one big bottle to get us through so other families can get the meds they need. We don’t need to repeat the toilet paper shortage of early 2020.”

As a health plan, Regence can remove pre-authorization or quantity limits on medications to accommodate the shortages and make access to covered alternative drugs easier for members.

Best ways to avoid getting sick

  • Get vaccinated – vaccines for COVID, flu, pneumonia and other illness are safe and effective
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Wear a mask in public places
  • Wash your hands often
  • Try to eat a healthy diet, sleep enough and other self-care

Know before you go

If you or a family member gets sick, consider where you might seek care. Emergency rooms (ERs) have been hit hard and many are out of space. Regence members have alternatives that many have found to be faster, more convenient and less expensive:

  • Virtual care – your regular doctor may be able to advise you by phone or over the computer in the comfort of your home.
  • At-home care – some Regence plans offer access to DispatchHealth for care that comes to you. DispatchHealth is available in select locations.
  • Urgent care clinics – many urgent care clinics are conveniently located and more accessible than ERs.

Sign in to regence.com to learn what options are available to you before you need them.

We’re here to help

Members can sign in to their account at regence.com to learn about their health plan benefits, search for in-network providers and more. We’re also available to help online through live chat and the message center, or members can call us at the number listed on their Regence member ID card.