Cost of Tamiflu means some patients go without

The cost of anti-viral medication Tamiflu to treat influenza surprises some patients. (Photo: Mk2010 / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0 / MGN Online)

Local Austin Pharmacist Chris Perling said this flu season has kept East Austin Medicine Shop busy.

Perling said the cost of anti-viral medication to treat influenza surprises some patients.

"When they do have the high deductible they're paying the full amount so now you see what the full amount is for the drug which brand name is $190 and it's $110 for the generic," Perling said.

He said some patients refuse to get their prescriptions filled because of the cost, but he always recommends elderly and those with preexisting conditions take the drug.

"They might say it's not worth it and I can make a decision to say: how long ago did you start seeing symptoms, are you normally healthy?" Perling said.

34 people have died in Travis County because of complications surrounding the flu.

Perling said because there is no cure for the flu, Tamiflu only reduces or shortens symptoms.

"If they have any health conditions even if it's diabetes or heart disease we're going to recommend it because normally a healthy person will recover from the flu," Perling said.

As of Monday, East Austin Medicine shop has all flu medications in stock except for the children's generic liquid, but said they are running out of supplements people use to treat flu.

"The face masks, elderberry was out in December and hasn't been back, Emergen-C and zinc," Perling said.

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