Saturday, October 8, 2011

Adderall and the Gift of Function

Back in March of this year I wrote a post called "The Supply Chain, Adderall, and Flying by the Seat of your Pants" and it has been very interesting and informative for me that I am still getting comments on it 7 months later. It looks like the supply of generic Adderall and Adderall XR are going to continue to be spotty for at least the rest of 2011.

I continue to find it worrisome that we fill so many prescriptions for ADD meds for children and adolescents, however I do recognize that it's a godsend for many of them in conjunction with other forms of therapy. No argument there. Is there lots of inappropriate use? --- Probably. But again, the folks who really benefit from it are penalized by the abusers, just like with other controlled substances.

I have gained a lot of sympathy from the comments by adult patients. I appreciate the fact that they are not blaming me for the shortage situation -- I personally try to help people figure out alternatives, make some phone calls for them, and I certainly don't look down on them for just trying to fill their prescription. However, as I said in the post, frustration sets in when a few people's sense of entitlement overshadows the reality that we're all 'in the same boat' here.

I especially sympathize with people who unquestionably need the medication to function --- to hold down a job, to go to school, to interact socially. Let's face it, without these basics it's a very tough road. These needs go to the root of a successful and happy life, and a mental disorder that interferes with them certainly is terribly burdensome. Then, when someone finds a medication that actually helps and allows them to function, I can see how being told that medication is unavailable indefinitely can cause utter panic.

One commenter said their doctor will no longer prescribe Adderall tablets --- maybe this is because his office got tired of phone calls from patients and pharmacies saying they couldn't get it. If I get a phone call asking me if we have it in stock, I have no problem giving a yes or no answer. Unfortunately though, I can't "reserve" it for anyone. If I hear of another pharmacy that has stock, I'll pass that on. I'll check the other pharmacies in my organization. I would hope most pharmacists would try to offer some assistance, as long as people realize we may not be able to drop everything and deal with it right away. It's another part of the job that we didn't ask for -- so if your pharmacist finds your medication somewhere else for you...... show 'em some luv.


Anonymous said...

Great post. We are now in this situation with our 12 year old. Dr. prescribed Concerta and we found her attention span improved while on it. Now we are living in the Middle East and discovered it is not available here and her supply is running out. It is a dilemma for all parties involved. As a former pharmacy tech. I was already aware of the shortage of medications available form suppliers.

Pharm.Tech. RDC'06

Andie said...

I hate that for people, especially those who need the medication desperately.

C said...

I do, they are awesome.

Ara said...

The thing I don't get with shortages is that the shortage has been going on for months and months, every drug sold means more profit for them, so why aren't they making more? If there's this much shortage it would get snapped up easily.

TiredRPh said...

In response ti Ara, it is my understanding for C2 meds, the manufacturers have to estimate at the beginning of the year how many tabs they expect to make. That is their allotment. I believe they can go over, but not by much. So, when demand increases over this expectation....then the shortages happen.