Families Frustrated by Drug Shortages

(PatriotNews.net) – ADHD drug shortages are irking families, sending them on a pharmacy quest. For instance, Kristin Coronado, a mother in Redwood City, Northern California, faced a struggle to locate her son Dom’s ADHD medication. Coronado, upset about feeling like a drug dealer, tried numerous pharmacies, relying on a spreadsheet with 25 listed. Dom’s prescription for Focalin XR, a generic version of dexmethylphenidate, posed a challenge due to its controlled substance status, tightly overseen by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Dr. Jennifer Holten, a child psychiatrist at Emory University, emphasized the harmful consequences of untreated ADHD symptoms, including risky actions or self-harm.

Prescriptions for ADHD meds surged globally amid the COVID-19 aftermath. The FDA estimates a 3.1% rise in medical use of ADHD drugs in 2024. The FDA attributes the shortages to factors such as telemedicine’s growth, supply chain glitches, manufacturing issues, and manufacturers’ business decisions. The DEA sets annual production caps for ADHD treatments, leading to conflicts with drugmakers claiming the need for more controlled substances’ release. Notably, Lannett and the DEA declined to comment.

This scarcity affects millions, including children like Dom. While Coronado recently secured a refill for Dom’s medication, others, like Wendy Steele from Baltimore, continue to face challenges finding ADHD meds for themselves and their children. Steele, taking a generic Adderall version, noted the critical impact on her son’s education. The ADHD drug shortage, starting with Adderall in 2022, persists, extending to medications like Focalin, Ritalin, and Vyvanse.

ADHD drugmakers, blaming ingredient shortages, seek DEA permission for increased production. The DEA contends that drugmakers have not exhausted their production quotas. The FDA and DEA urged uncooperative drugmakers to release their allotments.

Doctors and patients report ongoing struggles, including prescription rewriting and treatment interruptions. Experts acknowledge limited FDA options in the short term. In response, the FDA collaborates with manufacturers and supply chain stakeholders to address, mitigate, and prevent ADHD drug shortages. However, challenges persist, leaving ADHD individuals and their families frustrated, facing prolonged wait times, and navigating controlled substance regulations for 30-day prescriptions.

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