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'An absolute nightmare:' Parents struggle to get ADHD medication filled for their children

Why it's still a challenge to get a hold of ADHD medication as FDA says shortage is easing
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Posted at 7:58 AM, Jun 19, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — “It's a guessing game of which pharmacy has it, and that is a significant source of stress for us and the patient," said Dr. Sarrie Katz in Jupiter.

Dr. Katz took WPTV inside her office where phones are ringing off the hook. On the other side of line are parents seeking critical medication to help their children with ADHD.

When a pediatrician like Dr. Katz requests ADHD medication through a pharmacy for parents to pick up, they are faced with a roadblock.

“They go to the pharmacy and the pharmacist says the medicine that they've been on for years is no longer available. And there's no information about when it will become available," said Dr. Katz. "We have parents who are going to extraordinary lengths, sometimes going to three or four pharmacies to try to find a medication for their child.”

Jenna Katz is a mother in Lake Worth Beach, raising her young son who has ADHD. She tells WPTV she has gone to extraordinary lengths and has exhausted every option when it comes to getting ahold of ADHD medication for her son.

“It can be an absolute nightmare. I try to call at least two or three days ahead of time to make sure that they have it but it can be really difficult," Katz said. "I was very lucky they didn't have it yesterday and they had it today, and I was down to one. So I was very lucky."

The nightmare she faces in Lake Worth Beach — call after call, pharmacy after pharmacy — this is the same nightmare another parent has faced in Port St. Lucie.

“When we tried to fill it we called about four or five pharmacies, and they couldn't get it down there so we did have to wait," said Erica Hurst, a Port St. Lucie parent.

For another parent in Okeechobee County, they have had to drive to Jupiter, and even as far as Orlando, to seek out their young daughter's ADHD medication.

“Our child's medication was not available here so we had to seek out other pharmacies. We had to travel to have her medication filled," said Joseph Stanley, an Okeechobee County parent.

Dr. Katz expalins the shortage issue that she is seeing here at home has to do with more adults being diagnosed with ADHD, manufacturer decisions, increased costs, and less reimbursement from insurance companies for these medications.