ADHD Medication Shortage : Many parents worry about ADHD medication shortages as back-to-school approaches. In October 2022, a shortage of several medications.
SingleCare, a Boston-based prescription savings program, predicts a 33% increase in ADHD medicine fills for youth ages 6 to 17 between August and September 2022. Compared to June to July 2022, this growth suggests many children may not have adequate medicine for the 2023-2024 school year.
High demand contributes to ADHD medicine scarcity, according to SingleCare pharmacy and health expert Dr. Jennifer Bourgeois. When pharmaceutical companies strive to raise output to meet demand, DEA regulations slow them down.
Adderall Ritalin and Concerta methylphenidate are most affected. Bourgeois said, “Adderall is one of the most commonly prescribed ADHD medications in the U.S.” “This shortage affects greatly.”
Some manufacturers expect the scarcity to resolve between August and December 2023, but the exact timeframe is unknown. The lack impacts patients, their families, and clinicians. Dr. Bourgeois stated that his parents drove far and called pharmacies. He also said doctors had to update or offer new medicines.
In severe circumstances, youngsters may have to stop taking their prescriptions, which can worsen their symptoms and cause teacher’s and parents concerns. This could affect kids’ grades and classmates’ attitudes toward school.
Bourgeois advises parents to prepare ahead for medicine refills, especially in August. She advocates dropping off medications two days before use and discussing options with healthcare personnel if the medicine isn’t available.
Even if tempted, parents shouldn’t provide less medicine to last longer. Bourgeois advised parents, pharmacists, and practitioners to collaborate on solutions.
At Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Dr. Willough Jenkins, the inpatient director of psychiatry, agreed and stressed the importance of personalized care. Jenkins added, “Parents often think drugs are the only way to treat their child, but a mix of drug and non-drug methods works best.”
Cognitive behavioral therapy, parent training, tailored school education programs, regular exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and ADHD coaching are non-drug alternatives. If they can’t afford them, some families may struggle to access these therapies.
In an August 1 letter, the FDA claimed it was serious about correcting the situation. This involves collaborating with drug companies to make as many pharmaceuticals as the DEA allows and pressing stakeholders to make medication access simpler.
The FDA recently approved “game-based digital therapeutic” to help ADHD youth focus. The agency promises to rapidly and effectively address stimulant medicine shortages.
About 6 million children aged 3–17 have ADHD, Fixing this shortfall is still crucial for national health.