Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Shortages of ADHD Medications
Timothy MacGeorge, MDiv, MSW, is this week’s guest blogger.
Are you experiencing difficulty in getting prescriptions filled for ADHD medications such as Adderall, Metadate, or their generic forms?
Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added two major ADHD medications to its list of Current Drug Shortages. These shortages, which are apparently not widespread and seem to be sporadic throughout the country, are due to shortages in the “active pharmaceutical ingredient” (API) used to make brand medications such as Adderall XR, generically an Amphetamine Mixed Salt, and Metadate, a brand version of the generic Methylphenidate. It is expected that these shortages, which are the result of quotas imposed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on the manufacturers, should be resolved within the next six to eight weeks.
What to do? If you experience difficulty in filling an ADHD prescription due to this shortage, here’s what you can do:
• Ask your pharmacist if the medication is available from another location, especially if you use a large chain pharmacy.
• Contact the manufacturer to help locate a pharmacy that has your medication in stock (see the customer service numbers below).
• Contact the doctor who prescribed the medication to see if he/she has any samples you can use.
• Ask your pharmacist about the availability of other medications used to treat ADHD.
• As a last resort, discuss with your prescribing physician whether or not any of these available medications might be appropriate for you or your child.
Finally, if you’ve exhausted all avenues and still can’t get a prescription filled due to a medication shortage:
1. Tell the FDA: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-INFOFDA or 888-463-6332.
2. Tell CHADD: 800-233-4050.
Not sure which company makes your medication? Check the prescription label or ask your pharmacist.
Pharmaceutical companies that produce Amphetamine Mixed Salts ER Capsules:
• Shire Customer Service Number: 800-828-2088 (select “Option 5” for assistance in locating a pharmacy in your area with product availability)
• Teva Customer Service: 888-838-2872
• Global Customer Service: 215-558-4300
Pharmaceutical companies that produce Methylphenidate HCL:
• UCB Customer Service: 800-477-7877
• Covidien Customer Service: 800-325-8888
• Sandoz Customer Service: 609-627-8500
• Watson Customer Service: 973-355-8300
Timothy MacGeorge, MDiv, MSW, is the director of the National Resource Center on ADHD: A Program of CHADD that is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).