COLORADO SPRINGS — A shortage of ADHD and ADD medications is having a negative impact on local pharmacies and their patients.
"There's definitely been an increase in need," said pharmacist at Ivywild Pharmacy Shannon Bethel.
According to the FDA, drug manufacturers can only make a certain amount of stimulant ADHD medication every year. However, in 2022 pharmaceutical companies only made an estimated 70% of the medication allowed because
one manufacturer experienced a delay.
All of this was happening while pharmacies saw an increase of patients with prescriptions for drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and others.
"I think the pandemic had a lot to do with that. People were home and trying to stay focused while they were working from home," said Bethel. "The brands are all available, but the generics are hard to get ahold of sometimes for people".
The FDA says they're working with the DEA to lift limits on ingredients needed to increase production of these drugs, and by supporting alternative treatment options like therapy and non-stimulants.
"Our whole profession, that's what it's about. We want to get the right patient the right drugs, and make them feel better," said Bethel.
We also spoke with another woman named Margie who has been taking medication for 23 years. She says her diagnosis and prescription have been life-changing.
"This is worth it's weight in gold," she said while holding her medication. "For the past 23 years, I have been taking an ADHD medication without any problems until suddenly two months ago, it just vanished".
She says she spent hours calling pharmacies in Colorado Springs with no luck and needed to drive to Denver to find the drugs she needed. She says she's still rationing what she has, and that the disruption has affected her work life.
"My clients have deadlines, and I still have to meet those deadlines, which means I work right through weekends, I get up at 4 in the morning, I need that extra time to do what I used to have been able to do 9-5".
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