Patients, doctors deal with ADHD medication shortage

Patients, doctors deal with ADHD medication shortage
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:22 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - ADHD medication, particularly Adderall, have been in short supply across the United States since October 12, the Food and Drug Administration reported.

Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shannon Jones, said in the last few years, demand for ADHD medication like has sharply risen.

“Over the pandemic, a lot of people have figured out they have ADHD and have started getting treatment for it,” Jones said.

Research from the IQVIA shows prescriptions rose from 35.5 million in 2019 to 45 million in 2022.

The FDA said that demand has let to a shortage.

“A lot of kids that had previously been getting stimulant medication can’t find it,” Jones said. “Even the adults are struggling.”

She said when a doctor prescribes a drug, and the pharmacy doesn’t have it, the doctor has to re-prescribe with a different pharmacy.

“Sometimes we do this to two or three different pharmacies before we can find one that actually has the right amount of prescription for the patient,” she said. “So it’s been a logistical nightmare for all, the patients are frustrated, my staff is frustrated, the nurses are having to spend lots of extra time to find pharmacies that have these medications, and the doctors are not happy either to have to do their work over and over.”

For the patients, it means symptoms of their ADHD will be more pervasive.

“It causes significant functional deficits,” Jones said. “If they have ADHD, it’s going to make it hard for them to concentrate, which makes it hard for them to do their lives.”

She said if you have ADHD and don’t have access to your medication, you should try to stay organized and in a routine.

She said there are also other non-stimulant drugs that you can consider with your doctor.