Watch CBS News

Shortage of medicines to treat ADHD cause concern

Here's what to do about ADHD medication shortage
Here's what to do about ADHD medication shortage 03:14

MIAMI - People who rely on medication to manage their attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD are having a hard time finding the medicines they need. 

The shortage is hitting South Florida pharmacies. 

"It's very upsetting and I get worried because we need it," said Orfa de Armas, who is not the only one in her family who needs her Concerta medication, her 18-year-old-son, needs it, too. "We do need it in order to complete our everyday tasks, keep going to school. I am a stay-at-home mom who needs to do things in the house."

This is a medication pharmacists across the country are reporting a shortage of the drug's generics. This followed a shortage of Adderall that created problems for patients at the end of last year, and the beginning of this one.

"For the kids, it means not performing well in school," added Michelle Kirwan, a pediatrician for the pediatric and family health wellness center in Miami Gardens. She states that one of the reasons for the shortages is an increase of consumption of the medications during the pandemic. 

"Parents staying home with their children were better able to see their children had difficulty concentrating where they were impulsive or hyperactive or not focused."

The manufacturer of Concerta issued a written statement to CBS 4: "At Janssen, our first responsibility is to the patients and healthcare professionals who use our products. We are continuing to manufacture and ship branded CONCERTA® to distributors without disruption. Product availability at local pharmacies however, is driven by many factors. Patients should speak with their healthcare provider or pharmacist about the best options for their care." 

According to Trillian Health, a health data company, Adderall prescriptions for adults rose over 15 percent during 2020, double the 7.4 percent rise seen years before. 

De Armas recommends staying away from electronic prescriptions.

"If you go back to the doctor and ask for the hard copy (of the prescription) you can take it anywhere that they take your insurance," she said

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.