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'Things should get better soon:' Pediatrician says Adderall shortage should be coming to an end

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BATON ROUGE - As students across the state return to the classroom, a supply chain issue at the drug store could affect many children, their parents, and their teachers. Now doctors in Baton Rouge say they're helping families find alternatives.

In October 2022, the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged a shortage of the drug Adderall, a common treatment for attention-deficit disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The shortage was likely caused by a supply chain disruption, and since then pharmacies have dealt with empty shelves.

Doctor Dawn Vick is a pediatrician at The Baton Rouge Clinic, and this time of year she's meeting with patients heading back to school.

"Parents are definitely voicing concerns and looking for other options available when they can't find their ADD or ADHD medicine," Vick said.

For prescribed patients who can no longer get their hands on the medicine, Vicks says there could be detrimental effects in the classroom.

"If they truly need it, they're going to have a hard time focusing and being attentive at school," Vick said. "So obviously parents are eager to find something."

After a year long battle, Vick says there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and the strain on the supply could soon ease.

"Hopefully it's waning, and from my understanding, it is waning. Things should get better soon," she said.

On August first, the FDA urged drug-makers to boost their production and asked health care providers to more closely monitor how they are prescribing the drug, two steps that could help with the supply and demand problem.

However, since the government can't mandate a production increase, it's up to companies to act on the suggestion. 

For now Vick is recommending parents consider alternative options.

"There's natural options available that some parents ask for," Vick said. "We can tell them some things that they can try to do, like behavior modifications. Obviously we do a lot more than just medication to handle ADD or ADHD patients."


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