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Medication used to treat ADHD in short supply nationwide; local pharmacies looking for alternatives

4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago Tuesday, January 17 2023 Jan 17, 2023 January 17, 2023 8:16 PM January 17, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Patients are searching far and wide for pharmacies carrying Adderall or similar drugs, but coming up short. 

“I had a patient come in and say they visited 10 to 15 pharmacies in the last two days to see if they had it," said Orlando Palmer, owner and head pharmacist of Parker's Pharmacy.

The shortage of medication began in October 2022, with the Federal Drug Administration announcing one of the drug's most prolific generic manufacturers was facing an employee shortage that affected production. 

Now, pharmacies big and small are facing the same issues. Parker's Pharmacy on Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge is independently owned, and struggling to fill prescriptions just the same as big box pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS.

“We don’t even have enough in stock to serve our own patients," Palmer said.

Adderall is a drug commonly prescribed to adults and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, but also treats a variety of disorders such as narcolepsy and binge-eating disorder.

The simple task of filling a prescription is suddenly more complicated with this shortage. With many people trying to shop around and locate a pharmacy with their medication, doctors offices and pharmacies are overloaded with requests.

“If your doctor e-scribes you over your Adderall to one pharmacy and they don’t have it, now you have to identify a pharmacy that does have it in stock and contact your prescriber to have them re-send it to the new pharmacy that has it in stock and cancel the old one."

Doctors are scrambling for a solution and turning to similar alternatives to Adderall, such as Vyvanse or Concerta. Because of that, the supply of those are dwindling as well.

“Now it’s a trickle-down effect because now that there’s no Adderall, now we’re seeing the other agents, the Concertas, the Focalins, now they’re turning on back-order because the prescribers had to switch the Adderall patients to a new agent.”

According to Palmer, the shortage is expected to ease up around March 2023. Until then, pharmacies across the nation will continue to suffer the side effects of supply chain shortages. 

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