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Pharmacies struggling to fill prescriptions to treat ADHD

Providers are turning to alternative medications as the Adderall shortage persists
Posted at 6:27 PM, Jan 10, 2023

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The nationwide shortage of Adderall, the drug used to treat adults and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is now causing a supply strain on other stimulants.

As patients take up alternatives, the availability of other stimulants is being impacted due to the ongoing shortage.

Everyday Sal Sufan tries to fill an order for Adderall at his pharmacy.

“Let’s say there’s 50 available, they’re only allowing you to get one or two bottles,” he said.

The Federal Drug Administration said the supply is tight due to “ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays.”

“It’s a matter of supply and demand and they’re not getting enough ingredients,” said Sufan, owner of West Palm Pharmacy.

It’s causing patients who use Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to turn to other stimulants.

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West Palm Pharmacy owner Sal Sufan explains how his pharmacy is dealing with the Adderall shortage.

“Since there’s not enough Adderall, then the patients are being changed to other stimulants,” Dr. Shannon Fox-Levine said, “which then is also causing an issue for the supply of other stimulants that we use for ADHD as well.”

Fox-Levine is a pediatrician at Palm Beach Pediatrics. She said the focus and concentration these stimulants offer patients diagnosed with ADHD is life changing.

“It’s a night and day situation when they are taking their medication versus not taking it,” she said.

For children especially, she said, teachers may notice a change in behavior if the child goes off the medication.

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Dr. Shannon Fox-Levine explains how the Adderall shortage impacts children and adult patients and pharmacies.

“It’s not ideal that the child misses their medication,” Fox-Levine said, “but we do have the support from our excellent teachers locally to be able to help the kids with their accommodations in the classroom setting if they are not able to get any medication.”

She said so far she’s had success sending patients to other pharmacies.

“Different pharmacies get their supply at different scheduled times,” Fox-Levine said.

Sufan said he’s ordering more Ritalin, another stimulant used to treat ADHD, but supply issues are spreading to all stimulants.

“They’re going to come to that problem too, the demand is going to be higher than the supply,” he said.

Sufan’s vendor said the shortage issues for Adderall may be resolved in the next month or so.