Patients who are frustrated by the lack of ADHD medications

A Denver woman drove two hours away to get her ADHD medication, which she couldn’t get anywhere else because of a shortage.

COLORADO, USA People with ADHD reported that they have struggled to get the medication they need throughout the year, driving for hours in hopes of getting their ADHD prescriptions.

Often patients walked away empty-handed. People suffering from drug shortages want to see the problem of supply and demand solved.

“When you’re off medication, you’re really stuck in this downward spiral,” said Jessica Urgo, who has ADHD and lives in Denver.

In the decades he’s had ADHD, Urgo has never had a problem getting his medication filled, until about a year ago. He went to pick up his Adderall at the pharmacy like he always did, but left empty handed.

It was like, okay, it’s a little weird, but like it’s not the end of the world,” Urgo said. The pharmacists seemed to have a bad feeling at one point where they said I’m really sorry, you can try this, you can try that.

This year it became the norm.

Then it started a cycle where it wouldn’t be ready in a few days, and then it wouldn’t be ready in another week, Urgo said. They just shrug their shoulders and say that’s the way it’s been and we just don’t know.

Urgos’s husband also has ADHD. At one point they were desperate.

We ended up driving two hours because it had been three weeks since we had received anything, Urgo said.

They have valued the little they have.

I have a big show today, so I definitely need it, and on Saturday I’m going to a party with a lot of people, and I don’t want to come off talking too much or missing social cues, Urgo said. But I have a choice.

Urgo said medication is just another piece of the puzzle.

You have to come to it in the hands of all these different angels, Urgo said. You need therapy and the willingness to work on it yourself, and you need medication. And without those three pieces, it can really make it difficult.

Justin Vandenberg is the director of pharmacy business at Denver Health.

It’s scary, I worked in retail in my earlier years and seeing patients look on their faces and say sorry we’re apart, I don’t know when we’ll be back and that uncertainty really freaks them out. bind, Vandenberg said.

Vandenberg said the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, recognizes Adderall as a controlled substance.

It belongs to the same class as fentanyloxycodone. It’s set up with a lot more checks and balances, and one of them is that the DEA sets an annual quota on how much can be done, and it looked at trends from previous years, Vandenberg said. And what it boils down to is a question of supply and demand. We have a lot more people who identify as having ADHD, and the number is growing. However, you look at these past trends of how much can be produced and it doesn’t match that.

Vandenberg said people need to take exactly what they are prescribed.

They say they’re five milligrams, but we have ten milligrams, we just can’t change that because of the prescription classification,” Vandenberg said. But we can call that doctor and they can get a new prescription for dozens and cut it in half. It’s about trying to be a little more creative to help the patient.

Vandenberg said work is being done behind the scenes to help people.

There are other conversations going on at the congressional level about the drug shortage, so I hope enough people will speak up that changes are coming, Vandenberg said. What that change must be, that must be decided.

Urgo wants to see the problem solved. “I get told I’m so smart, I know I’m smart, but it feels so debilitating not being able to do the things you want to do,” Urgo said.

Urgo hoped that other people fighting the same battle would give themselves a little mercy.

You just have to be nicer and kinder to yourself and you have to be a good advocate for yourself,” Urgo said.

The patient talks with the pharmacist and the provider, and it’s an open conversation, Vandenberg said. I can speak for myself, it really gets you passionate and wanting to go at it the next day and the day after seeing these stories. First of all, it breaks your heart, but when you can turn it around and put a smile on patients’ faces, I’m really here for it.

If I could take my medicine every day, I would be happier and able to do more, Urgo said.

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