Some Prescriptions May Be Hard to Fill at Area Pharmacies

Some people say it is getting harder to get their hands on commonly used prescription drugs.

A consumer reached out to the NBC 6 Responds Unit after he says he was unable to fill his prescription for medication to treat attention deficit disorder.

A search online brings up several forums where people are complaining about not being able to fill prescriptions for medication to treat ADD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder across the country.

One person wrote, “In West Coast Florida, have called 6 pharmacies this morning, all are out.”

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Another person wrote, “South Florida definitely has a shortage.”

When we looked on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s drug shortage database, we did not see several of the medications consumers complained they couldn’t find.

An FDA spokesperson sent us the following statement, “The FDA has contacted the manufacturer of Adderall and generic manufactures of Adderall. The brand Adderall has been reported as available. At this time, generic manufactures are reporting sporadic back orders of various strengths, with sustained normal market supply expected to resume within April/May timeframe. We continue to communicate with manufactures of these drug products for market supply availability.”

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. David Rube says patients shouldn’t panic or immediately switch their prescription.

“This is not an indication to switch up medication profiles because these things to tend to be temporary,” Dr. Rube said. He says these types of back orders happen from time to time.

“Controlled substances are being extremely controlled and there are only X amount being made. So more kids that come up the rank, and the more adults that get diagnosed with ADHD there are more prescriptions of these medications being used,” Dr. Rube said.

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He encourages patients to do what they can to stay on their prescribed treatment plan. Some patients may need to reach out to their insurance provider.

“Some insurance companies only allow you to take brand, some insurance companies only allow you to take generic, the real issue is trying to find a medication that most closely fits what the child is taking,” Dr. Rube said.

He also suggests visiting a locally-owned and operated pharmacy because he says they have access to more drug distributors. Pharmacist and pharmacy owner Steven Pressman explains why.

“It’s much easier for me to have multiple resources, than be one big company and maybe only have one resource,” Pressman said.

He says locally-owned pharmacies order from several manufacturers, making it easier to keep medications in stock. If they can’t find a particular medication, he says they have the option to compound prescriptions for patients.

“If a manufacturer is no longer making this drug, but people still need it, we reach out and we get the chemicals, to make it, and we can actually compound it,” Pressman said.

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He says it can be hard to tell when a backorder or drug shortage will end, but the FDA says supplies of medication to treat ADD and ADHD should be back to normal levels sometime in April or May.

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