Drug scarcity frustrates ADHD patients

  • Article by: JEREMY OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 26, 2011 - 8:39 PM

Patients are forced to resort to more expensive or less convenient alternatives for the time being.

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danlovajApr. 26, 11 8:28 PM

As a pharmacist, I must say, there are some errors in this article. First, there is another generically available stimulant ADHD medication, Methylin ER. While that also is in short supply, we are able to get a small allocation each week. We also have had no trouble getting generic Adderall XR, and in fact there are some insurances that are covering brand name only anyways. Concerta and Metadate we have not had any difficulty either. While the shortages often are on certain strengths we are able to work out a solution by combining smaller strength tablets to make the equivalent dosage for the patient. We do fill many ADHD medications, as we are a pharmacy located within the clinic. For the most part, patients are understanding as we work through this shortage.

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rober120Apr. 26, 11 8:31 PM

The worst part is finding out the your child's Rx is not available the day you go have it filled at the pharmacy (too bad this article didn't come out sooner...we ran into this problem 2 months ago). After calling ALL the pharmacies in a 30 mile radius only to find NONE available, your only option is to then call up your child's Dr. in a panic and request that they switch the Rx. However, they won't do that without first seeing your child (another $200 bill to the clinic) and then you find out the your only option is to switch to the extended release formula which is TWICE as much more a month than what you were paying. But, since your child cannot function in school/life without it, you bite the bullet and fill the new Rx. I'm grateful for the medication, but really wish there was a way to regulate the cost of prescriptions. In my opinion, the pharmaceutical industry is just as out of control as the oil industry.

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wedge911Apr. 26, 11 9:59 PM

my child takes adderall xr. last month my regular pharmacy was out of the generic, which costs $5.00. they had the name brand for $95.00. I can not afford the extra $90.00 for the medication. I had to go to 2 different pharmacies to get it filled. This month my pharmacy only had 22 pills when i filled the prescription. It is very frustrating to say the least.

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spicebearApr. 26, 1110:00 PM

"The same company, Shire Pharmaceuticals, makes both the generic version of Adderall XL that is in short supply and the brand name version that remains broadly available." ***This sets off my "smells fishy" detecters big time. Hmmmmm, whyever would they do that??

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jrparkinApr. 26, 1110:02 PM

I am a pediatrician who specializes in ADHD. I am totally frustrated with insurance companies and their interference in appropriate medications for ADHD. The short acting generics are indeed cheaper but have significant problems with compliance and mood swings. There are several long acting meds which have a single dose at home which will work for the school day. Many insurance companies deny these in spite of the compliance and mood swing issues. It is time to look at effectiveness rather than just cost. There are indeed consequences to not appropriately treating ADHD. John Parkin M.D. Bemidji,MN

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OkarcheApr. 26, 1110:29 PM

What about the possible connection between ADHD and pro-inflammatory biochemistry? Perhaps if we ate the types of foods our genes adapted to, got enough exercise and sunshine (vitamin D) a lot of the need for these expensive meds would go away.

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bosshogApr. 27, 1112:09 AM

Agree 100% with Okarche. People have been brain washed into thinking medication is the only answer (since that is where all the money is) and not simply addressing the child's diet where the problem more likely stems from.

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PeachoApr. 27, 1112:10 AM

I'm a pharmacist who dispenses a lot of ADHD meds. It's funny, the parents who are picking up ADHD meds for their 10 and 12 year olds are also the parents who do nothing as their 5 year old runs around the pharmacy dumping water from the cooler and knocking stuff over on our shelves. I suppose its just a matter of time before he too is diagnosed with ADHD.

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ammunraApr. 27, 11 4:01 AM

Every time I hear about ADHD I want to do some research into it. I have to suppose that it has existed (even if in smaller population) for quite some time, though it probably was not recognized, and if so how people functioned before the drugs were developed. Furthermore, I wonder how many kids have been diagnosed and actually DON'T have ADHD, but their parents simply want to medicate a boisterous child so they're easier to raise.

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poorshotApr. 27, 11 6:21 AM

How come when i was a kid there was no such thing as ADHD this is nothing but a scam and misdiagnosis by doctors and pharmacies, my young cousin was diagnosed with this and now he doesn't even qaulify for military service because of it, and there is nothing wrong with him.

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