LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Local pharmacies have been struggling to keep certain medicines in stock in recent years, particularly after supply chain issues were exposed and worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is one medicine shortage that can have a very negative impact on children.

Back in October 2022, the FDA warned of a critical shortage of ADHD medicines as a spike in diagnoses and patients from the COVID pandemic stretched supplies thin.

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Then, in February of last year, more than one patient locally told KPEL News that they could not get prescriptions for Adderall at their Walmart or Walgreens pharmacies. Those parents told us that chains could not say when they would have the medicine back in stock.

Over a year later, some of those problems appear to still be causing issues locally and beyond.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said in a filing last month that they have "determined that the proposed APQs for amphetamine, lisdexamfetamine and methylphenidate are sufficient to supply legitimate medical needs, reserve stocks, and export requirements for 2024."


CBS News reported earlier this month that the DEA and drug companies are at odds over who is to blame.

"Though the agency raised its limits for methylphenidate after that shortage began last year, the DEA has also blamed some drugmakers for not manufacturing up to their quotas," CBS News reported. "Drugmakers have blamed the DEA's quotas for frustrating efforts to boost manufacturing to meet demand."

What Should You Do If Your Pharmacy Is Out?

Unfortunately, patients have few options if their preferred pharmacy can't fill a prescription. One family we spoke to had to pay out of pocket at another pharmacy - their prescription wasn't covered by their insurance at the smaller, local pharmacy, but the larger chain pharmacy couldn't fill the prescription for at least a week.

The problem is that these medicines are vital to a lot of children across the U.S.

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) "is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood," the CDC says on a website devoted to the disorder. "Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active."

The range of behaviors for children with ADHD is wide and every child's symptoms can be different. For some, it's being more easily distracted and susceptible to outside stimuli. For others, it leads to uncontrollable, compulsive behavior that many adults (and teachers) can mistake for a poorly behaved child.

But it's a lack of ability to self-control that can make ADHD so debilitating for children diagnosed with it. That leads parents to have to call around and find a pharmacy that will fill their prescription, sometimes regardless of cost.

Understanding ADHD

Understanding ADHD and its effects on children is crucial for providing appropriate support and fostering positive development. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It can impact a child's academic performance, social relationships, and overall well-being.

To better understand ADHD, it's essential to recognize the diverse ways it can manifest. Inattentiveness may lead to difficulties in focusing on tasks or completing assignments, while hyperactivity can result in restlessness and impulsive behaviors. It's important to remember that ADHD is not solely a result of laziness or a lack of discipline.

Parents, teachers, and caregivers can support children with ADHD by creating structured environments, offering clear and consistent expectations, and providing positive reinforcement for desired behaviors.

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Tailoring learning approaches to accommodate individual needs, breaking tasks into manageable steps, and incorporating visual aids can also enhance understanding and engagement.

Additionally, fostering open communication and empathy is vital. Recognizing the challenges children with ADHD face and appreciating their unique strengths can contribute to a more supportive and inclusive environment. Seeking professional guidance from healthcare providers and educators can provide valuable insights and strategies for managing ADHD, ensuring that children receive the necessary tools to thrive both academically and socially.

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Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham