Flu season is here again.
And unfortunately, the U.S. is running short of key medications to treat it.
In fact, according to the New York Post: “America is facing a shortage of four key medications used for common illnesses in children as virus season comes back in full force. Officials have declared a shortage of first-line antibiotics amoxicillin and Augmentin, which are used to treat bacterial infections. Tamiflu, the most common flu medication in the US, and albuterol, an inhaler for asthma and to open airways in the lungs, are also in short supply, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.”
We’re even starting to see a shortage of children’s Tylenol. Now, in addition to reporting shortages of some of the world’s most widely used antibiotics, pharmacies across the US have reported that kids’ Tylenol too has become scarce,” says The Daily Mail. “The pain reliever is one of the most popular drugs in the country, and is used to quell youngsters’ fevers.”
Doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals are flabbergasted, with hospitals starting to fill up. Making matters worse, we’re not even at peak flu season, and already there’s an issue. In fact, according to CNBC, “It’s been more than a decade – since the H1N1 swine flu pandemic – since flu hospitalization rates have been this high at this point in the season. The CDC estimates that there have been at least 880,000 illnesses, nearly 7,000 hospitalizations and 360 deaths from flu in the US this season.”
While that’s not comforting to hear, it could elevate the need for cleanliness and other medical supplies from companies such as:
Clorox Co. (CLX)
Since early October, shares of CLX have run from about $125 to $149.50. From here, the stock could test higher highs, if flu season gets worse. According to MarketingDive.com, “Recent consumer research by the brand found that 82% of Americans believe cleanliness is required for a clear head and 68% believe it’s needed for a fresh outlook.”
Rite Aid (RAD)
Rite Aid could rally on flu season, as well. While the RAD stock slipped on a weak flu season in 2021, it could be a different story, and severity this year. If that’s the case, RAD could rally with vaccine demand. According to Today.com, “There are already reports that demand for flu antiviral medications is surging, and some pharmacies in hot spot states are scrambling to fill the higher-than-usual number of prescriptions for this early in the season.” That demand should be a strong catalyst for the Rite Aid stock.
CVS Health (CVS)
CVS is also one of the pharmacies reporting a shortage of amoxicillin. According to NBC News, “Pharmacists said they are worried if the shortage lingers through the winter, when infections can surge and antibiotic use typically increases.