Consumers are Done with not being able to get their ADHD prescriptions.
|ADHD drug prices soaring as Adderall shortage leaves patients struggling to fill prescriptions(USA TODAY)
Amid a nationwide ADHD drug shortage, patients are paying significantly more for medication to help them direct their focus at school, work and home.
The shortage has placed financial pressure on families, forcing them to search for alternatives. Often, the only options they can find are expensive brand-name drugs.
The upward trend can be seen in the prices retail community pharmacies pay for several popular ADHD drugs, which a USA TODAY analysis found have outpaced inflation – and in some cases doubled or tripled in price – since Adderall fell into short supply starting in October 2022.
One mother from Delaware diagnosed with ADHD, whose husband and 17-year-old daughter also have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, told USA TODAY that when the Adderall shortage was announced, their doctor switched her daughter to the only alternative they could find, Vyvanse.
As a result, the amount they pay each month after insurance for her medication skyrocketed from under $20 to $300. The medication is too expensive for more than one person in the household, and she said her priority is her daughter’s health and education.
“With medication and accommodations at school, my daughter is a straight-A student. Without the medication, she’s failing,” said the mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Sam, because her husband doesn’t want his employer to know about his diagnosis. “It’s that stark of a difference.” Read more
There are lots of reasons for the shortage — from manufacturing problems to more patients using the medication.
A ‘perfect storm’ led to an ADHD medication shortage. Here’s why
Is it being over-prescribed?
Prescriptions for ADHD drugs spiked during the pandemic, CDC report finds
Dr. Francis Murphy is a health living expert who’s been treating patients for more than three decades and has worked with countless patients with ADHD.
He can talk about this story and offer insights.
Feel free to contact him directly:Dr. Francis MurphyExpert on ADHD(cell) firstname.lastname@example.org
He’s also available for Skype and Zoom interviews.
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What is ADHD
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is commonly diagnosed in children and can continue into adulthood. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Here are key aspects of ADHD:
- Inattention: This involves difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty in organizing tasks, and a tendency to be easily distracted. People with ADHD may struggle to follow through on instructions and often make careless mistakes in their work.
- Hyperactivity: This manifests as excessive activity or restlessness that is not appropriate for a person’s age or situation. It might include fidgeting, an inability to stay seated, or a feeling of being driven by a motor.
- Impulsivity: Impulsivity refers to hasty actions taken without thought of the consequences. It can manifest in impatience, blurting out answers, interrupting others, or a lack of restraint.
- Variability in Symptoms: Symptoms can vary widely among individuals with ADHD. While some may predominantly show symptoms of inattention, others may exhibit mostly hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Many individuals have a combination of both sets of symptoms.
- Impact on Daily Life: ADHD can significantly impact various aspects of an individual’s life, including academic achievement, work performance, social interactions, and relationships.
- Causes: The exact cause of ADHD is not known, but research suggests that genetics play a significant role. Other factors might include brain injury, exposure to environmental risks (like lead) during pregnancy or at a young age, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, premature delivery, and low birth weight.
- Diagnosis: Diagnosis typically involves a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional, which can include behavioral assessments, standardized rating scales, and gathering information from various sources such as family members and teachers.
- Treatment: Treatment for ADHD often involves a combination of strategies, including behavioral therapy, education and training, and medication. The most common type of medication used is stimulants, but non-stimulant medications are also available.
- Management: Alongside professional treatment, lifestyle changes like regular physical exercise, a healthy diet, structured routines, and strategies to improve organizational skills can help manage symptoms.
- Age of Onset: Symptoms often start in early childhood, although they can continue into adolescence and adulthood. In some cases, ADHD may not be diagnosed until later in life.
It’s important to note that ADHD is a complex disorder, and its presentation can vary widely. Professional evaluation and diagnosis are key to ensuring appropriate treatment and support.