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Published January 04, 2012, 05:10 PM

Drug Shortages May Affect Those With Attention Deficit Disorder

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A drug shortage is affecting people locally who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A drug shortage is affecting people locally who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Although medications like Adderall and Ritalin are still available, some are finding it harder and more expensive to get a full prescription.

Pharmacists and doctors say they have seen more demand over the years for the drugs to help those with ADD and ADHD.

Both Pharmacists and Patients say they're dealing with the drug shortage locally.

Millions of people are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADD. Whether it's at school, home or work, both children and adults can have problems paying attention, being hyperactive or impulsive.

"They come to us for help and sometimes that help is directed towards other para-professionals that helps us diagnose ADD and ADHD," Sanford Health doctor Mathew Stayman said.

Drugs like Adderall and Ridalin are on the Federal Drug Administrations list of drug shortages causing local pharmacies and patients to feel the pinch.

"Manufacturers of these products say the FDA is allocating the bulk form of these drugs so the reason for the shortage is two fold because of that increased demand and they aren't able to produce or release the drug in the amount of time we are needing it," Altru Pharmacy supervisor Erin Navarro said.

Erin Cox has family members suffering from ADD who need the medication. They have noticed changes from the shortages.

"They were only able to get part of their prescription filled instead of the full prescription and at another point it was just a lower dosage that was available," Cox said.

Local doctors and pharmacists worry about how long this shortage of these drugs will last because of the increase in demand.

"If they truly feel like they're needing it and testing positive for it at 25, 35 they need to be treated, that doesn't stop the population from having children and now needing more," Stayman said.

"We're not just seeing adderall, it's the ritalins, methylphenidates and the whole class seems to be in higher demand," Navarro said.

Doctors say although not everyone needs the medications with behavioral therapies, and lifestyle changes, some need all three to make it through the week.

For more information on drug shortages you can log onto www.fda.gov