Arizona mom says she struggles to get medicine for her son due to shortages

A valley mom warning about prescription medication shortages going around right now.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:51 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 9:45 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A Valley mom is warning about prescription medication shortages going around right now. Her son spent days in the hospital with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes infections in the respiratory tract.

She said it was terrifying. Her son was fighting for his life in the hospital, but once he was discharged, he didn’t have access to the prescriptions he so desperately needed. Now his mom said something needs to change.

“Praying to god. There were moments where I just said, ‘please don’t take him from me,’” said Lexis Maclean, whose 2-month-old son fought for his life after contracting RSV. “And you feel like a failure as a parent. Like, why didn’t I protect him from this? Why did I let this happen?”

After nearly a week in the hospital, her baby boy Rowan recovered enough to get out of the hospital. But to stay out, he would need prescriptions. Prescriptions that were nearly impossible to fill. “It took us six different places just to find standard over-the-counter Tylenol and ibuprofen. Six different stores. Not to mention the prescription. I had to call so many different pharmacies,” Maclean said.

The medications were difficult to find because of a nationwide shortage. “It’s alarming, as a mom, because you are sitting there on the bathroom floor steaming up the bathroom with your 2-month-old in your lap and your 2-year-old sitting next to you coughing, crying ‘mommy it hurts,’ and you want to help them but you can’t even find the medications to help,” Maclean said. She eventually got her child’s prescriptions filled but only after hours of trying and failing.

Dr. Kristin Struble with Camelback Pediatrics said her story is not unique. “We’re having to prescribe more so the demand is up, and then there is also a supply chain issue,” Ruble explained.

Maclean said she’s hoping doctors and pharmacists can work together to prevent this from happening to anyone else. “It’s shocking. It really is. It’s shocking that you can’t provide. You’re devastated that you can’t provide for them and help them,” Maclean said.

Dr. Struble said pharmacists should be in constant communication with doctors so they can prescribe alternate medications if need be. So if your pharmacy can’t fill your pill, call your doctor.