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Vital to refill prescription medicines after superstorm Sandy

Medicine Pills Health Care Drugs

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, there are a number of concerns people in the Northeast are facing – living without power, limited transportation options and spoiling food supplies.  But another concern I fear people may overlook is the need to refill their prescription medications.

I know things are incredibly disorganized right now, and many of these problems may be ongoing for days or weeks.  However, I urge people not to wait until the last minute -- when they actually run out of medicine -- to try to get their prescriptions refilled.  

Certain medications, like cardiac medicines, anti-clotting medicines, and statins for high blood pressure, need to be adequately maintained from day to day in order to be effective.  If you are concerned that your prescription medicines need to be extended, contact your physician’s office and ask them to give you an extended order.

It may take some time for pharmacies in certain communities to re-open in the wake of the storm, but it is essential to try to find other places, perhaps in neighboring areas, that may be open. You do not want to be put into the position where you must discontinue taking your prescription medications for a week or so.  

In their latest press release, Walgreens said October 31 that approximately 330 of its stores are still closed in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, down from a peak of about 750 stores closed during the height of the storm.
For a list of Walgreens locations still closed, click here

Prior to the storm, the company  - which also owns Duane Reade – secured generators to help re-open stores faster and dry ice to refrigerate medications.  

To see which Duane Reade stores are open or closed, click here

Meanwhile, CVS said Tuesday that about 600 of its stores were closed. It has re-opened some locations, and like Walgreens, the company says its focus is on keeping 24-hour locations open.  Call your local CVS store to check its status.

Neither company said there were any concerns regarding pharmaceutical shortages.

Dow Jones contributed to this report.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.
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