Local pharmacies see shortage of generic ADD drug

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After phone calls to several area pharmacies NBC12 found the generic brand of Ritalin may be hard to come by. Pharmacies have the name brand medication in stock, but pharmacists are low on or are out of the generic drug. Brand name drugs could be as much at 50% more in price.

Ritalin is the drug taken by people with attention deficit disorder. Baylor Rice at South River Compounding Pharmacy said his warehouse is usually stocked with more of the generic drug rather than the name-brand drug- but not Thursday.

Rice pulled up his inventory list on a computer. He is almost out of the generic form of Ritalin.

Dr. George Bright, an expert on ADD treatment, is concerned.

"Our office has received calls from parents for approximately two weeks," said Dr. Bright. "If you're without an ADHD medication, actually the medication is gone at the end of each day. You don't develop tolerance to it."

As of Thursday, no one knows why there's a hold up.

"I couldn't find anything about a shortage," explained Rice. "There's nothing on the FDA website showing that there's been a re-call or anything like that, that we're aware of. My only thought is: is there a raw ingredient shortage out there."

Medical experts said skipping your daily dose shouldn't be an option.

"If medication management is interrupted, often times children and adolescents and even adults may revert to their impulsivity, their poor decision-making, difficulty in relationships," said Dr. Bright.

Now if you are allergic to dyes or have special medication needs, compounding pharmacies may be an option.

"If the brand and the generic become non-available, I can still get the powder," explained Rice.  With the powder, he can customize a Ritalin prescription.

Dr. Bright said in more than 30 years of practicing, this is the first time he had heard of a shortage of some ADD medications.

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