Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why Can’t I Get My ADHD Medications?

by Ruth Hughes, PhD


Are you having difficulty getting your prescription for stimulant medication filled? Particularly if you have a prescription for amphetamine mixed salts (the Adderall generics), or more recently for immediate-release methylphenidate (Ritalin generics), you may find that your pharmacy is out and unable to tell you when they will get more.

In a previous blog, CHADD’s Tim MacGeorge developed some guidance on what to do if you are in this dilemma. This blog will explain what is causing the problem and what CHADD is doing to address it.

The shortages began last spring and all parties thought it would be a short-term problem. But now it is six months later and the problem is getting bigger, not smaller. To understand the problem, it helps to understand the process:

• Stimulant medications are considered Schedule II controlled substances and their production comes under the purview of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The DEA’s mission is to ensure that controlled medications are not used for nonmedical purposes.
• Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture stimulants apply to the DEA for permission to purchase a certain amount of the "active pharmaceutical ingredient" (API). This is the controlled substance within the stimulant medications.
• At the beginning of each calendar year, the DEA approves each company for a certain amount of the API. It is normally less than requested by each company, and the aggregate of all awards is the DEA’s best guess of the legitimate need for the year.
• Once approved, the company purchases the API and begins manufacturing the medications. It usually takes 8 to 12 weeks for the medications to be manufactured.
• And then they go to market.

Where Does It Go Wrong?

It only takes one company that has a problem in delivering its portion of the market share for the dominoes to begin to fall. Because each company is limited to a certain portion of the active ingredient, the companies are unable to step in when another company is having problems. Or if the DEA is wrong in its estimates of the number of legitimate prescriptions that will be written, then a shortfall can occur. Or the amount of medication may be correct, but the geographical distribution of the medications by all the companies involved may not lead to an even distribution across the country. The shortage continues until the original problem is solved.

Companies can go back to the DEA and request more of the API, but the application process is long and cumbersome. If the shortage occurs close to the end of the calendar year, companies are more likely to wait for the new annual award of API.

When all goes well, each pharmaceutical manufacturer has enough inventory to carry over into the new year until spring, when the production started in January actually reaches the market. This year the inventories are very low or nonexistent, raising concerns that there will not be sufficient medications available to make it until spring.

If the shortage continues for a while, as it has for ADHD medications, then other things begin to happen. Over time, physicians begin to change prescribing habits to other medications that are more readily available, such as the short-acting methylphenidate medications. But again, production of these medications is limited by the DEA. As a result, the shortage is spread to a new group of medications.

Some pharmacies or chain store distribution centers may begin to stockpile the medications, in anticipation of the shortages. This then aggravates the shortages in other areas.

Unfortunately, no one agency or manufacturer owns the problem. The Food and Drug Administration has responsibility for addressing medication shortages, but has no authority with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The DEA feels that it has a limited role of ensuring only the amount of medication legitimately needed is manufactured and the possibilities for diversion are reduced. And the manufacturers cannot respond quickly to shortages caused by internal problems or by other manufacturers because their production is limited by the DEA. As a result, there is a fair amount of finger pointing and little problem solving.

What Is the Short-Term Outlook?

Not great. Many of the companies that manufacture the short-acting stimulant medications report they have no inventory left or limited inventory. Given the manufacturing time lag of 8 to 12 weeks, it is unlikely that the 2012 DEA-approved medications will get to market until March at the earliest. No one seems to be able to estimate the amount of medications currently in pharmacies across the country. You should anticipate that getting your prescriptions filled for short-acting stimulants in particular, and all stimulant medications in general, may get more difficult as we move into the new year. So plan ahead.

Work closely with your physician and allow enough time before your current prescription is gone to actively search for a pharmacy that has your medication. Prescribing physicians and patients may need to consider long-acting, time-release medications rather than short-acting medications. If you have been purchasing the less expensive generic medications, you may need to consider the more expensive, name-brand medications. And you might need to consider a different delivery method such as the skin patch or liquid medication. Another option may be to try one of the nonstimulant medications that treat ADHD.

What Is CHADD Doing?

Given the manufacturing time lag, our current shortage seems destined to play out. But we can work to make sure this does not happen again. CHADD has been speaking out about the problems to the media to help raise awareness of the issue. Almost every day we are contacted by a major media outlet covering the story. We have been in touch with all the major and many smaller pharmaceutical manufacturers who make stimulant medications to clearly understand the scope of the problem and what steps might make it better. And we are organizing a coalition of concerned groups with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Other groups who have joined with us include patient advocacy, clinician, and pharmacy-related associations. The larger our coalition, the more power we will have to influence the agencies involved and Congress.

In early 2012, we will be meeting again with officials from the FDA and the DEA, and ultimately, with key senators and congressmen who can influence the policy of these agencies. We are determined to make sure this problem is solved. CHADD will continue to keep you informed about the shortages and what you can do to help us address this issue. While we may need to weather this storm, we will do all we can to make sure it does not happen again.


Ruth Hughes, PhD, is the CEO of CHADD.

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

69 comments:

liftingdiva said...

I have experienced this SO many times in the past 6 - 9 months. How a person is to take something every day and then just stop without warning is really frustrating. Thank you for all you are doing.

S Lowery said...

We have had a horrible time with Vyvanse. I think that the people that have existing prescriptions too, should get priority over new ones written. Just this Tuesday, we went to get refill. A refill of course that they will not refill more than ONE DAY before expiration. So, Walgreen's where he gets it every single month, informed me that they didn't have it, would NOT be able to get it for a week, that they were sold out (and not at all helpful in finding another source either!) So what are we supposed to do? Son could lose his job without. What a mess. What a pain to even deal with them.

Anonymous said...

We use Vyvanse for social situations and Dextroamphetamine for school. I called or visited 26 pharmacies in the Philadelphia area to no avail. I enlisted my co-workers who exhausted the Northeast corridor and Western PA. Same results. There is no way this is a sudden situation. Pres. Obama expanded the availability of the controlled substance and it has had no effect. Some group has got to be manipulating the outcome. Is no group accountable? Maybe a class action suit would stir the pot and get some notice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your informative post! It is refreshing to see a post from CHADD that isn't written by a guest blogger who conveniently notes that they have a DVD or book on an ADHD subject. Sometimes the blog posts feel a little bit like commercials for products rather than truly useful, free information.

jcfried said...

Is this really about forcing people from generic, and less costly, medications to patented, and more costly, medications?

S. DeLuca - Massachusetts said...

Thank you CHADD and all individuals that are assisting all of us in this quite frustrating and infuriating position. If only the FDA and DEA were aware of the repercussions this lack of medicine causes to each patient. Not having my medicine affects not only my job performance, and personal well being, but also puts me and anyone else on the road in danger when I have to drive. I am glad that this will be resolved soon and look forward to the day I don't have to worry about how to ration my meds for the day while trying to work around my already stressful and hectic schedule as full-time employee, wife, mother, etc...

Anonymous said...

There is a nice article explaining what is going on, entitled:
"How Big Pharma Contrived the Great American Adderall Drought"
It was very enlightening.
It can be found here:
http://www.alternet.org/health/153176/pay_attention:_how_big_pharma_contrived_the_great_american_adderall_drought/

Becky Henry said...

Wow! am I shocked and scared now! Last year my grocery-chain pharmacy said they couldn't get my dosage anymore, but the Walmart had it. I keep running low before my next appt. and have to stretch out the Adderall with groggy results. School is starting again next week and I'd better see if I can get a fresh prescription before then.

Anonymous said...

"Pres. Obama expanded the availability of the controlled substance and it has had no effect."

He claims to also have influence with the tooth fairy but there was no dollar under my pillow either!

tthomas said...

I ended up switch my son to Vyvanse and it turned out to be a good thing. He seem to be sleeping and eating better and is still getting good grades.

dushkow said...

This is outrageous. I am 63 and run my own business. I have been using stimulant drugs for 15 years. My 2 adult sons also take adderall. One in LA and one in NY. We are all victimized by this situation.
In my opinion, this is clearly a violation of the ADA and the FDA, DEA and drug companies should all be part of a class action suit.

MINDY MARCH said...

As everyone else has stated, this really sucks bad! I wish the DEA officials were hooked on Adderal like the rest of us! Well, even if it was the case I am almost positive they would get their meds.The thing is this is not just like the lack or running out of say my thyroid pill. I honestly dont even notice for months until I gain about 40 pounds. This is a serious drug! I have been taking Adderal for 7 to 8 years now, and am totally dependent on this med for my daily survival and motivation. Without it now dosent even start with the Adhd symptoms coming back. It is a total cold turkey withdrawl of amphetamines. I seriously am ready to have a panic attack when the pharmacy tells me they are out for who knows when. How dare them even play around with our minds like this. Yes, we should start a class action law suit. If this happens to me again in the future, I will end up dropping out of school, going to the emergency room in total withdrawl state, and quitting me job. It is rediculous. When I started this med, it was a miracle for my life. But had they said, now in the future when you get totally dependent on this med to function, we might just run out on any occasion. Well, I might have just stuck with some regular overthe counter caffeine or something. Atleast I wont have withdrawls and go crazy over it. This has got to stop. I am ready to file law suits! Please inform me if their are any being started at this point. These people are responsible for the outcome of our wellbeing and lives! They made this med seem like a glorious cure in the beginning. I just wish one day we will get to the bottom of the real cure and not treating the symptoms of this illness. It ruins lives, and families. God Bless, Good luck everyone!

Anonymous said...

I went to Kroger Pharmacy who were out but told me that they had a "chewable" form of Ritalin. For a prescription I normally pay $20 for(methylphenidate), they wanted $1000. for 150 10mg

MarieA said...

Very appreciative of CHADD's efforts. If you provide the names/contact info for legislators on key committees, we will be able to support your efforts.

Jace said...

So, essentially, law enforcement (the DEA) gets to accomplish its goals on the backs of law-abiding citizens who legitimately need the meds. That's like a teacher punishing the whole class because of one kid who won't come forward & own up to launching a spitwad.

Unknown said...

How specifically is CHADD helping these people get their original medications so that they don't have to pay huge fees for patented medications with which they have little to no experience?

Anonymous said...

I concur with Mindy March.

Anonymous said...

The drug shortages are not limited to ADHD drugs. On eof the causes is the supply chain decisions made by big pharma in order to maximize thie profits. See linked article

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-news/drug-shortages-profit-motivated-experts-suggest/article2226057/

CHADD is in part funded by big pharma and CHADD is in some instances a shill and an apoligist for big pahrams

Anonymous said...

We have been trying to get my son's Strattera Rx filled for three weeks with no success. The insurance company is putting up every blockade to prevent filling it. They have demanded a prior authorization. Then said they granted the prior authorization but still refused to fill the Rx. Now they are saying they will only fill the Rx if it is prescribed by a psychiatrist and they are refusing to pay for the Strattera if his primary care pediatrician writes the prescription. I am totally fed up!

Anonymous said...

Good Grief!! ADHD is hardly a life-threatening condition. This is not about people with diabetes going without insulin, or people with heart disease going with medications that keep them alive. There is no withdrawal from these medications. Maybe a little perspective would be good.

Anonymous said...

Besides the difficulty of getting the medication Blue Cross for Federal employees is requiring members to either take a "formulary" drug that they say is equal or the generic. When I tried to explain there had been bad reactions over the years to the drug they wanted my son to take, Blue Cross said I would have to pay out of pocket then for the drug he needs since Blue Cross does not see it as any different. I explained the inert ingredients can made a difference in the way the drug is metabolized but all she kept saying was; Fine then just pay for it yourself. agh!

JeromeH said...

I have only experienced my medicine being out a couple times but both times I just switched drug stores to one that had my medicine on hand. The last time I encountered a store being out of my medicine was just last week at a Walgreen's. They were very helpful and they even called another Walgreen's store on the other side of town to see if they had the medicine on hand. The other Walgreen's store had the medicine I needed so I just drove over there and had them fill my prescription. I keep at about an extra week or more worth of my ADHD medicine on hand just in case of situations like these. I have been able to have extra medicine on hand due to having forgotten to take some of my medicine doses sometimes. I can get it refilled once a month and I make sure I refill it every month as soon as I am able to, not just when I am a week away from running out. Be prepared and plan ahead.

Anonymous said...

perhaps the HEalth Insurance Lobby should be added to the pot. If the generic forms of the medications are not available they will end up paying more for their customers/insured meds. They are a very powerful lobby in Congress. Or are they behind some of this mess in order not to cover the prescription?

Food for thought either way

Absent Girl said...

Oh no. My prescription has just run out and is due to be written in a few days at my appointment. Is this problem in Australia as well? Should I be looking for pharmacies now?

Anonymous said...

Please let us know how we can support your advocacy for this issue. I'm a therapist and have several clients who are being significantly negatively impacted by the shortage.

amymwz said...

Could someone please start a petition to sign in regards to this problem. I have been affected by this shortage for months now. Thanks for all that you do, I am glad that there is awareness tot he problem being made to the general public.

Anonymous said...

I take a low dose of Aderall XR, not one pharmacy in my town carries it anymore. I had to go to a pharmacy out of town to find it and am concerend that that won't last after reading this.....what am I supposed to do for meds?

Unknown said...

jcfried said: With regard to the comment that said, "Good Grief!! ADHD is hardly a life-threatening condition. This is not about people with diabetes going without insulin, or people with heart disease going with medications that keep them alive. There is no withdrawal from these medications. Maybe a little perspective would be good", you are absolutely wrong. For people with AD/HD who have not found any other approach to dealing with their AD/HD, their medications are a lifeline that lets them connect with the world and people around them. It stops the endless mental jitter that keeps them from connecting with others and themselves. No, without the medications they won't die, but without the medications they aren't really living. Our lives are a very difficult struggle that for the most part we face alone. I hope the person that wrote this doesn't have AD/HD, but i hope s/he learns a little empathy.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the Federal government to screw things up!

Anonymous said...

You can bet your bottom that if the shortage was "Viagra", then the DEA would be all over it making sure they got their, oops, I mean people got their Viagra...

anonymous said...

I have not experienced this particular problem but perhaps starting a petition through www.change.org might be an option?

ashwambro said...

I can appreciate their reasoning to control, to make sure it is being used for those who really need it, but how come it ends up hurting the ones that do need it and the 'adderall-junkies' are still getting theirs? (i use the word adderall, but i mean any stimulant abuser)

anonymous said...

I have not personally experienced this problem and do not know what the underlying problem stems from but maybe an option would be to start a petition through www.change.org?

Anonymous said...

For the people that commented that ADHD is not that big a deal, you won't think so when the person with ADHD is not focusing on a traffic sign and plows into your vehicle. Prior to being put on Adderall I had frequent accidents although most were very minor. In the past 18 years I have not had a one and I am sure to not miss a dose when driving. Let’s not get into my disease is worse than yours as an excuse for government agencies and free market profiteering cause disruptions in supply.

Anonymous said...

So, what medications are available as substitutes. My adderall I was on ran out in Nov, tried ritalin in Dec which was did not work out well for me. Someone suggested Vyvanse, but now people are saying they have a hard time getting that. Tried Adderall XR before without success. Any suggestions???

Anonymous said...

With regard to the comment that said, "Good Grief!! ADHD is hardly a life-threatening condition. This is not about people with diabetes going without insulin, or people with heart disease going with medications that keep them alive." Clearly you do not understand ADD/ADHD. Maybe you should spend some time researching these conditions and see how debilitating they can be left untreated.

VAwitch_myrrhibis said...

Ruth - can you please post who are the applicable Congress members that can help influence change in the DEA & FDA? I live in no VA & work in DC - since both my son & I suffer from ADD (he is a failing student w/o his Vyvanse, and due to the increasing costs of his v decreasing avail of my generic Ritalin I don't take my meds like I should) I have no problem taking some time out to speak to those folks.

Thx, Sabrina

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the informative article. Very explanatory and clear. This is affecting many families, including my own. It is terrible when someone finds a medication that works for them and suddenly has to settle for one that doesn't do the job. The result for Adults can be problems at work, and for kids a total set back at school. No one can afford to have such set backs—especially in this economy. It has costs for all of us.

Anonymous said...

What a shame that the DEA can make calls on something they have no business doing....messing with childrens minds...I have a 5 year old that would suffer mentally if she did not have her medication.We have been having trouble for months getting her ADHD medication...this is so SAD....!!

Anonymous said...

Southeastern PA and central New Jersey seem to be completely out of my prescription for Dexedrine 10mg tablets. I've been taking this medication for 10 years and have never seen anything like this.

Anonymous said...

I wish they knew what it felt like. Adhd is very serious-- i used to get into accidents at my job because of lack of focus and havent jad one in 6 years thanks to adderall. So whpever thinks this isnt as serious as one would think shut the f up. Seriously.

Armand said...

The coincidence of the generic drug being in short supply but the patented drug readily available is difficult to believe. The effect on corporate profits with total disregard to the health of the customers is even harder to believe. We need to find a legal way to work on them.

Anonymous said...

I tried calling around and was treated like a drug addictvand several pharmacies would notndisclose if theybhad any of the meds, and I also have to pay cash and would not disclose prices or if theybhad anynof them. Made me really peed off!,

Anonymous said...

I like what Anonymous said-- Good grief, ADHD is hardly a life threatening situation.. Unknown, you should educate yourself. I am a type 1 diabetic with ADHD. I would rather go a year without Adderall than a day without my insulin. Without my insulin I could die! ADHD won't do that to me. I suffered for 15 years without a proper diagnosis too, so I DO know what it is like. I'm not saying ADHD isn't serious, it is, but truly, diabetes is much worse.

Dave Field - Edge Sales & marketing Group said...

Having been active in the "insurance business" for over 30 years and around the block personally with ADD symptoms and medications I can appreciate the frustration and anxiety caused by being "screwed around" at the pharmacy.

I don't have an answer to issue at hand but do believe that bigger more powerful government agencies are not the answer for any problems facing the united states today.

Anonymous said...

Response to "Good grief, ADHD is hardly a life threatening condition." I can understand what you are trying to say but here is an interesting perspective... I am in healthcare. I'm ADHD and take medication to help me stay focused and clear-headed and to provide the best, competent care for my patients whom I care greatly about. Now let's say it's been a long, stressful day at work (which hospitals frequently are)and I'm pretty beat; I haven't had my medication and I'm not as clear-headed as I should be. And let's say YOU are my patient....and you have a heart attack or a serious allergic reaction to a medication and need emergency care that requires the healthcare professional to be clear-headed, focused and on task... NOW let me ask, do you think this could potentially be a life threatening condition for, let's say...you?

Unknown said...

Shame on you, CHADD. This is market manipulation and public deception. This is what Occupy Wall Street is al about.

Gina Pera said...

Some suggestions:

1. Investigate mail-order provisions of your pharmacy coverage.

These typically provide a 60-90 day supply, thus eliminating the need for a last-minute scramble every month. It might also be that these mail-order pharmacies have a larger or more reliable supply.

2. If generic medications have been your strategy thus far, this might be a good time to try a name-brand.

Contrary to popular belief, generics are not the exact same as the brands. In the U.S., the FDA requires the so-called bioequivalence of the generic product to be between 80% and 125% of that of the original product. Bioequivalence, however, does not mean that generic drugs must be exactly the same (“pharmaceutical equivalent”) as their original product counterparts, as chemical differences may exist.

Many insurance policies cover only generics; but if you and your doctor can document that the generics have been tried and found lacking, some insurance companies will agree to cover the name brands.

3. If you've never ventured beyond immediate-release medications or generics, consider the shortage a good opportunity to try the newer formulations -- e.g. Vyvanse, Concerta, or Daytrana. For many people, these medications have a lower side effect profile and much-longer coverage throughout the day.

Most pharmaceutical manufacturers' websites offer trial offers, and some offer financial breaks for those who qualify.

Pamela said...

Without his Adderal, my son will fail his high school classes, which screws up college entrances. Life-threatening, maybe not. Having a major effect on his life, YES!!! So far, I've been able to go to another Kroger's and get the medicine. But, I'm nervous. (Walgreen's and CVS don't carry his dosage).

Anonymous said...

I have been a victim of this shortage as well, and I just spoke to a waitress that was told she had to pay $367 just for the generic (Adderall) crazy!

I went to the pharmacy last night, it was like being outside of a crack house. This is a "independent" pharmacy and so by now word has spread around town that they have Adderall> I really felt guilty for even being there to get my script filled, I felt dirty.

I'm looking for an alternative!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could get brand Ritalin. All these months CVS (where I get all my meds) has had brand. My insurance company insist on generic so I searched and searched until I found a Walgreen that took my insurance and had generic ritalin. Then in Dec they stop taking my insurance. Thank God I founmd a Rite Aid that took insurance and had ritalin.All this worry Every time i go to the pharmacy i worry if this time theeir going to tell me no. Im out of options

Anonymous said...

Ritalin isn't bad but you quickly build a tolerance to it. It just doesn't work after a while, at least for myself.

Anonymous said...

I too have had problems finding my
ritalin medication for several months.
My doctor told me the pharmaceutical
companies get new OK's the first of each year, since it's considered a controlled substance. This is presribed to ADHD patients who be informed at the time that this could be a problem each year since a lot of people are not sure they want to take the meds, which can be beneficial, and having this happen to you could really confuse your decision! Unless they change this law,
many ADHD people will refuse to even take a medication, and that would be too bad. As for us who have experienced the shortage and not known ahead of time, it could be a
setback that upsets and confuses the patient too.

Nyliret said...

There is a lot of talk about generic stimulant medication shortage but I want to bring awareness to the fact that even if you can find it, the price had nearly quadrupled! I have no insurance and can no longer afford my medication. I have 2 left and then I'm out and out of luck. Trust me, it is not fun. I don't believe i am addicted as I have never experienced withdrawal before and have been on generic adderall for nearly 10 years. It works for me with little side affects. Without it though, my A.D.D. is out of control which causes anxiety and further problems with depression. It's not gonna be good. I thought price gouging was illegal?

Anonymous said...

DEA should be ashamed of themselves. What a JOKE.

The blame rest with them period...

Unknown said...

JCFRIED: I have both ADD and mild ASD. I commented earlier that i felt the drug manufacturers were forcing this situation. I have liver problems that have prevented me from using ADD medications. A friend offered to teach me meditation, a non-religious form of focus training, to help reduce the effects of ADD. While the positive effects of the meditation were slow in coming, after two years of meditation my quality of life improved significantly and now after 5 years i don't feel that ADD is much of an issue for me. Because a friend trained me for free, i offer the instructions also for free on a website, openmeditation.wordpress.com. If you have questions after reading anything on my site, please feel free to post a comment and i will get back to you. There is no charge and there will be no charge. I offer it as i received it, free of charge, with the hope that in this time of difficulty it may provide you with some much needed support. For some reason beyond my control this will be submitted as anonymous, but my id is jcfried.

Shanna said...

while I am able to manage my symptoms without medication, many of my ADHD coaching clients benefit from the combination of coaching and medications. Fortunately we are able to help them with the additional stress they are feeling at the thought of not being able to get a medication they have come to depend upon.

It seems that some people are able to find sources for the name-brand drug but not the generic they are used to. As anyone who has tried to use medications to control symptoms, just because something is the equivalent in theory does not mean that it will behave the same way in the body. So just because the drug is a name-brand does not mean that it will work for my client as well as the generic if that is what she is used to.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I am 56 and been on meds for six years. Now my doctor is switching my meds around and I have had some serious complications.
My life has been disrupted and by health has been at risk.

Black Shadow Stripe Suit said...

This is very interesting article. I really enjoyed reading your very informative post. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wow this explains a lot! Thank you for the information!

Pat Daley said...

"ADHD is not serious, like diabetes...." YOU try living your whole life with a blender in your brain. Decision making is an agony: "Do I look for that other sock, or get out of the way of the speeding train?" Dexedrine helped me get my thoughts in line, and my priorities in order. It is also SEVERELY addictive, which I accepted, because of the clarity and good judgement it gave me. And the regularity with which I was able to obtain it with a monthly prescription. Now I am back to looking for that other sock, crying like I have lost a relative, for no reason other than I am back to utter confusion. ---Pat Daley

Anonymous said...

Last year I switched from short acting Adderall to extended release due to the shortage of supply. For the past few months I struggle to find the extended release at all. I just today was told at the one pharmacy that previously had the drug that they were out also. I called the other pharmacies again to see if they have gotten a supply and nope, they are still back ordered. I appreciate CHADD taking up this cause but I find the advise about calling around well before you run out as not helpful (at least where I live). Last month I was told yes, we have a 30 supply but cannot hold it...so immediate rush to the pharmacy to get it. My regular pharmacy would not take my script for the medication more than a few days from running out. So, yep, they had it, and I had to come back 2 days later (no worries, had 3 days 'surplus' - yes that is sarcasm). Sorry for the rant, but I am an adult with ADD that is frustrated by the constant running around every month hoping to get a prescription filled. There has been a shortage issue since spring 2011 and here it is May 2012 and there seems to be no hope it sight. Guess I can always try another drug that may or may not help and quite possibly is also having a ripple effect shortage. Finger pointing by govt agencies and pharmaceutical companies is not cutting it in my book. I know we are all in the same frustrating situation and I hope something can be done for all our sakes. AB

Anonymous said...

You must be taken your meds wrong if you do not have enough unless they are shorting u by the pharmacy. the amount prescribed isnt correct

Anonymous said...

Oh, you havent gone through a withdrawal from being off your medication for three weeks? Maybe you dont have acondition to begin with then.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to do. I've been taking Dexedrine 5mg everyday for the past 17 years. I am 72 years old. I have not taken my pills for two days now. My doctor has not been able to help me secure the medication, although she has tried and has been given the run around. Bottom line, we can't find any available here in Los Angeles and no one knows when more will be available.

Anonymous said...

it's just after august 1st now... and there's STILL no dexedrine!!!

im on adderall (generic, of course) and FORGET YOU, not life threatening!!

im a survivor of trauma... which led to my being diagnosed w/ multiple sclerosis, which has given me TERRIBLE fatigue... so i sleep A LOT.

i NEED THESE MEDS SO I DONT KILL KIDS WHILE I DRIVE BY THE 2 SCHOOLS ON MY STREET!!!!!!!

maybe it wont threaten MY life (the dept of ed wont let me die til they bleed me for every penny, thanks for emmigrating mom and dad), but... hey im unemployed, about to get divorced...

nooooooo no threat to my life at all.....

Anonymous said...

I've been responsibly taking prescribed methylphenidate for 20+ years -- and the current Philadelphia-area shortage is the worst ever. Dr. Hughes' article is enlightening, except that, based on it, the 2013 supply should be in by now.

Compounding the difficulty, for me, is that our family doc (I no longer go to a psychiatrist) took a position in the state of Delaware, where, by law, only a 30 day script can be filled -- thus tripling potential problem points. Our old Pennsylvania pharmacy filled 90 day Delaware scripts, but they were no good at managing shortages. The hospital pharmacy I switched to was, until April 2013, better at shortage management, but they understandably enforce the law saying that Delaware prescriptions must follow Delaware law, regardless of where filled.

Are there any politicians working to change this bizarre dysfunctional system?

Anonymous said...

I see that, in true ADD fashion, my last post (should be immediately above) was written before I read the rest of this site and found out how much hard and good work CHADD did on this issue last year. Of course, if the methylphenidate shortage had actually ended, that would have been ever better :-)

B said...

This issue is the bane of my existence. It is SOOOO frustrating and makes one have to work extra hard to get their RX filled. I could tell you stories. The pharmacists are already on the look out for "abusers" or I guess addicts, and the having to call a million diff pharmacies to find your med or order your RX and anxiously wait for it totally does make me feel like an addict. It's very degrading on top of the usual ID checking and judgmental up and down eyeing they are trained to give you. I live in NYC and am currently in the process of having to wait a week for my pharm to get my Ritalin SR 20mg. It's nuts. I've been on 1/3 my dose now for 2 days and am worried about how the rest of the week will go.
I really related to this article:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2012/01/05/the-shame-of-filling-a-prescription/