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Why can’t I get my ADHD prescription filled?

There is a nationwide shortage of ADHD medications such as Adderall due to manufacturing problems. Teva, the top manufacturer of Adderall, has blamed worker shortages for production problems. 

ADHD medications are not the only ones facing shortages. Pediatric formulations of ibuprofen such as Kids’ Advil have also been hard to find on pharmacy shelves. 

How long will these shortages last? 

It’s difficult to predict how long these shortages will last but they are expected to continue well into 2023. The FDA has been sharing information about ADHD medications with pharmacies and has promised to assist manufacturers any way they can. 

What can I do if my medication is out of stock? 

When your medication is out of stock, your first thought would be to have your prescription sent to a different pharmacy. This is not the recommended course of action as medications like Adderall, are classifed by the DEA as controlled substances and therefore are heavily regulated which require these prescriptions be handled accordingly.

For example, the existing prescription first needs to be cancelled prior to it being reissued to the new pharmacy. This can be time-consuming and might not result in getting your medication any earlier. There is also no guarantee that the new pharmacy will have stock once your new prescription is received.   

Before asking your medical provider to re-route your prescription consider visiting your local pharmacy in person and, speak with your pharmacist. Did you know that most pharmacists are doctors specialized in medication? They understand your health conditions and are there to help with your overall wellness.   

  • Build a relationship with your existing pharmacist. Let your pharmacist know how the lack of medication impacts your quality of life.

  • Let your pharmacy know that you have been seeing a healthcare provider regularly and have a treatment plan in place.

  • Ask your pharmacy when they expect to have the medication in stock.

  • Ask your pharmacist if the medication is in stock in a different dosage or as a different release formula. This information can help your provider write a new prescription that has a better chance of being filled.

  • Keep in mind that some pharmacies will refuse to answer questions about stock levels of controlled substances if they do not have your prescription on file. 

What can my primary care provider do if my medication is out of stock?

If your pharmacist cannot fill your prescription, your provider can help you consider other options:

  • Switch to a different formulation or medication that is more readily available. Some medications might not be covered by your insurance and you may have to pay out of pocket.

  • Discuss the frequency in which you need to take your medication  - for example, is it medically necessary to take this medication 7 days a week?

  • Re-route your prescription to another pharmacy.  If you do decide to switch pharmacies, stick with it and build a relationship with your new pharmacist. 

What is Circle Medical doing to help? 

Helping our patients have access to clinically-approved ADHD treatment is one of our top priorities.  We are taking steps to help.

  • Assigning more members of our clinical care team to our pharmacy relations team

  • Proactively sending supporting information to your pharmacy when switching pharmacies or for first-time prescriptions

  • Adding functionality to our software to make it faster to process reroute requests

  • Keeping our providers informed of the national situation so that they can better counsel patients

If you are suffering from ADHD and are having problems with your medication, speak to your healthcare provider. 

Take the first step towards an ADHD diagnosis.
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