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ADHD drug shortage to last until April as 90% of patients affected

Pharmacy News

ADHD drug shortage to last until April as 90% of patients affected

A nationwide shortage of ADHD medications is expected to last until April next year, a charity has revealed.

ADHD UK announced yesterday (November 28) that Takeda, the main manufacturer of ADHD treatments, had told the charity that supply issues are likely to continue until April 2024, having previously said the shortages would be resolved “at various dates between October and December 2023”.

A survey of 1,054 patients carried out by ADHD UK from November 18-27 found that over 90 per cent have been affected by the supply shortages, with a quarter saying they have not yet been contacted by their GP as required by a national patient safety alert that went out on September 27.

Just eight per cent said there has been no interruption in their access to medication, with 27 per cent reporting no access since supply issues started and 33 per cent reporting long gaps. Seventy per cent said they have rationed their medicine. 

The charity called on the Government to create a national commission to address the supply issues, which it said are not a “solitary event,” and to develop a strategy for identifying those patients most in need and ensuring they receive their prescribed medication.

It also urged the Government to put affected patients on the two-week fast track for receiving disability support rather than the standard five-month waiting list. 

ADHD UK chief executive Henry Shelford – who described himself as “personally impacted” by the supply issues – commented: “The Government continues to utterly fail those with ADHD. The failure to take ADHD seriously has resulted in waiting lists of up to 10.5 years for adults and up to five years for children. 

“We today find out that despite Government promises to work and resolve this with manufacturers the ADHD medication crisis is extending to April 2024, with no real assurances it won’t extend further.

“We’re calling for the Government to put in place support for those impacted to help them keep their jobs, preserve their education and, fundamentally, to ensure we don’t lose anyone to suicide.”

Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, said pharmacists are “seeing first hand the stress and anxiety that shortages of medicines such as ADHD medicines are having on patients”.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: We understand medicine shortages can be distressing but we want to reassure patients we are working intensively with manufacturers to increase supply for the UK and ensure continuous access to ADHD medicines for those who need them.

“Some of these supply issues have now been resolved, but we know issues remain with others.

“We have issued communications to the NHS to advise healthcare professionals on how to minimise disruption for patients and keep them informed amid these supply issues. Patients are advised to speak to their clinician regarding any concerns as they are best placed to discuss how they might be affected and the suitability of treatment with alternative medicines.”

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