As a doctor who treats ADD/ADHD, and an advocate for patients, I am concerned about issues which impact people getting the treatment they need. In fact, it is often so hard for people to get the right diagnosis, and then find the right treatment – including non-medication treatments, that when they find a medication that works – it is imperative that they have the ability to use it…
Right now, there is a real ADHD medication shortage in the USA. It is not really clear to me what the cause of this is. Researching online has led me to some interesting theories.
Blogger/Reporter Jim Edwards from The CBS Interactive Business Network recently wrote an article called: How a “Shortage” of Adderall Actually Increased Sales of the ADHD Drug. In this article, he documents that the sales by Shire of Adderall XR have actually increased during this time frame. I must admit – that as a doctor (and not having ever taken a business course in my life), a lot of this article goes over my head.
But it leaves me with the question: What’s really going on here? There seems to be an issue with the supply of the ingredients from the DEA. There also seem to be disputes between Shire and the companies which manufacture the generic medications (i.e. Teva and Impax). The legal references in the article referenced above don’t help to clarify the issue for me (I’m not a lawyer either…).
I urge all involved to remember this: when you are impacting the supply of patient’s medication for ADHD, you are seriously impacting their lives – for the worse.
I support medication treatment for ADHD, as it works quite well and helps many people. I also support pharma companies profiting from the creation and distribution of medication. If there weren’t profit involved – there would be no innovation, and new treatments would never be developed. I also support win-win situations – i.e. patients get great treatment options, and pharma earns a profit by helping people to get better treatment.
I don’t support when the regulators and/or the companies interfere with the supply of needed treatment. This is NOT win-win.
My hope is that for all of the patients involved – that this can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Please share your thoughts below.