Medication Shortages

What do I do if my medication is out of stock?

During periods of limited availability, prescriptions can continue to be filled at the pharmacy, but with potential delays. If someone experiences difficulty filling their prescriptions, they generally have the following options:

  1. If you believe your medication (whether a refill or a new prescription) might not be available at your regular pharmacy, call around to different pharmacies in your area to see if it is in stock. If it is not in stock, then an alternative agent may be necessary to continue your medication therapy. You can then direct your doctor’s office to send a prescription to the pharmacy that has an alternative medication available.
  2. Plan ahead for refills by contacting their pharmacy about 1 week before the refill is needed. Due to increased shortages, it’s important to factor in some time to get a refill on any medication you use.
  3. If you continue experiencing difficulty obtaining your medication, you can contact your healthcare provider who can assist with your treatment plan, and determine other medications or therapies that could be alternative options for treatment during the medication supply shortage.
  4. Check the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists website or the FDA website to see if your medication has a known shortage and see whether there is a timeline on when it might be available again. You can also check to see what similar medications might be available.
  5. If you can’t find the generic version of your medication and are unable to get the price on the brand-name drug lowered, check for coupons. Many online pharmacies allow you to input the name of the medication and check the price you would pay using their coupon at different pharmacies.
  6. For brand-name drugs, check the manufacturer’s websites. They often have co-pay assistance programs that can dramatically lower the cost of your prescription if you qualify (you will still have to find the medication though).

Some pharmacies do not proactively stock products like Trulicity, Mounjaro, Zepbound, Wegovy, Ozempic and Saxenda. In those cases, the patient can ask the pharmacy to order your specific medication, and it will typically arrive in 1-2 days.

If you would like to learn more, you can go to and watch their video about drug shortages.