Parents of children who are using certain kinds of ADHD medications have probably run into some difficulties lately when trying to get their child’s prescription filled. There is currently a national shortage of some popular ADHD medications, and no one has been able to predict when this shortage will end. Why has this shortage happened? There has been much speculation about the potential answer to that question.
One of the forms of treatment for ADHD involves medication. There are many different types to choose from, and several also have a generic equivalent. It takes time to figure out the medication that will work best for your child, and also to find the proper dosage. The journey from diagnosis to discovery of the right amount of medication tends to be a very difficult time for most families. Hopefully, the medication that your child needs is one that is covered by your insurance company, or else this can lead to a great deal of expense.
Once everything is worked out, the best thing to do is to make sure that your child continues taking the medication, as directed. Skipping a dose can result in having the problematic symptoms of ADHD return. It is easy to see why the current shortage of ADHD medications is causing stress for families who have children who require these drugs.
Why has this shortage happened? There has been much speculation about the reasons behind the shortage. From what I have read, it is difficult to tell which of these theories happens to be correct.
Could the shortage be due to an increased number of people being diagnosed with ADHD? Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration delayed the release of extra supplies of the active ingredient that these types of medication use. The DEA regulates drugs that it considers to be controlled substances, that have the potential for abuse. Certain ADHD medications contain stimulants, which could cause people to seek out this drug even though they do not actually have ADHD. There are people who have faked their way into an ADHD diagnosis, just to have access to the medications.
Could the shortage be something that was intentionally caused by a drug manufacturer? Shire Pharmaceuticals is the company that makes Adderall XR. Some have suggested that the company did not release enough of its drug to the companies that make the generic version of it. If this is true, then it is really bad. It would indicate that Shire is trying to force people to purchase the “regular” version of the drug from them, because they can no longer obtain the generic, (and less expensive), version that their child was using before the shortage hit.
Another theory suggests that the shortage is a clue that the DEA is planning on cracking down on ADHD medications because they contain compounds that are pharmacologically similar to methamphetamine (or that actually contain it).
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