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Adderall shortage affecting patients throughout Northeast Ohio

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Feb 16, 2023

CLEVELAND — People throughout Northeast Ohio are struggling to get through their day-to-day routine because they don’t have their medication for their attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In October, the FDA announced a shortage of Adderall, the medication used to treat ADD and ADHD, due to several manufacturers’ supply chain issues.

It wasn’t clear when or if the shortage would affect Northeast Ohio back then, but it is now here.

“People have definitely been affected. These are mediations people rely on every day for function,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, an emergency physician, medical toxicologist and addiction physician at University Hospitals.

He said he had hoped a resolution would be near to the Adderall, or generic form of the amphetamine-salt combo drug, shortage but that it’s taking a bit longer than anticipated.

“I have not seen any kind of end in sight, at this point. I know early on the goal was for some time in the first quarter of 2023 that this would be resolved, that the supply chain issues and regulatory snafus that happened that led to this would all be taken care of, but it looks like the most recent forecast that kind of pushed that back to at least a few months now, into April or May,” Marino said.

John Leahy, the manager of MetroHealth’s ambulatory pharmacy, said he is on the phone every day with their analytical experts and wholesalers trying to stay one step ahead of the shortage, and it’s working.

“Coming out of our Covid surge, we started seeing across the board on a variety of medications whether its amphetamine or diabetic medications and we try to think pretty far to the left of the problem, left of boom, is when we start really getting our planning process,” said Leahy. “Leverage some of our wholesalers, industry partners, our providers to anticipate those shortages so when things do become tight we are already ready to act.”

He said it has helped them with every type of shortage that impacts the pharmaceutical industry.

“When there was any availability, we were first up,” he said. “Luckily, in the last week we’ve seen a big increase with availability.”

He said it also helps that they are an integrated pharmacy connected with MetroHealth providers.

“If there is that one off where ‘Oh my gosh the 20 mg isn’t available,’ we can easily message the provider," he said. "Why don’t we just do two of the 10 mg to ensure that we take care of the patient we haven’t had to execute that plan very often because we do have 11 retail sights plus a central fill.”

But big retail pharmacies and other places are feeling the shortage. Dr. Marino urges anyone who is having issues refilling their medication, to talk to their providers or insurance agencies to see if there is an alternative that is in stock.

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