IN DEPTH: Addressing the Adderall shortage

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)  — A nationwide shortage of the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication Adderall has shaken up patients nationwide.

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening.

Dr. Clarence Sullivan is the owner of the Pharmacy Shop in Lexington.

He says a shortage of the active ingredient amphetamine mixed salts is why many pharmacies are struggling to keep the drug in stock.

“We’ve managed to get hold of our patients’ medications and keep them in stock for them. So overall, our patients are pleased at this point. But if this continues, it’s going to affect us as well and affect all stores,” said Sullivan.

The FDA says one of the country’s largest suppliers had manufacturing issues and many medicines are backordered. FDA Drug Shortages [accessdata.fda.gov]

Other manufacturers will not be able to keep up with increased demand.

Sullivan says he’s gotten a lot of calls from people trying to fill prescriptions. However, they cannot take new patients until the supply increases.

“It is normal to have shortages at times. I don’t think this is being blown out of proportion,” said Sullivan.”

A survey conducted this summer by the National Community Pharmacist Association found that roughly 64% of pharmacies they studied said they were having difficulty getting the drug.

While Teva Pharmaceuticals SAYS they are producing and refilling at historical levels, supply isn’t expected to return to normal until at least November.

Even longer for some generic brands.

What should you do?

The FDA is advising people to reach out to their doctors.

Pediatrician Elizabeth Hawse, with Commonwealth Pediatrics, says it’s critical to call early so that they can brainstorm in time.

“I’ve been telling my patients- it’s a controlled substance so you can really only fill it every thirty days but I’ve had them call when they have about a week of medication left, so we can start calling around to pharmacies figuring out where we’re going to send their prescription,” said Hawse.

Hawse says so far she has only had a few calls.

“A little bit of juggling. It’s not been awful and we’ve been able to find it. I don’t think I’ve had a patient yet that we haven’t been able to find it for,” said Hawse.

She says there are a variety of options people can utilize before they give up and go without it.

“We can sometimes change the dosing of extended release or we can change brands or products. There are kinda cousins of Adderall that you can use,” said Hawse.

For more help, Jennifer Franco, who is a parent of a child who experiences ADHD, suggests parents check out a growing community in Lexington on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/groups/163055931146404/?ref=share [facebook.com]





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