It’s a disaster!
And now for the fine print: It’s only a disaster for consumers.
Millions of people use prescription drugs that happen to be in demand as recreational drugs. Crushing and snorting the drugs creates a cocaine-like high.
That’s a huge red flag. But most of the patients who take the drugs wouldn’t recognise the warning. They’re just children. Some are as young as two-years old.
These drugs treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They’re widely used. And they’re also widely abused.
But this situation is no disaster for drug companies. They’re raking in profits that would make a drug lord blush.
A constant worry
Doctors wrote more than 51 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs in 2010, in the US alone. Sales topped $7.40 billion. And yet, hundreds of people contact the American Food And Drug Administration (FDA) daily to report ADHD drug shortages.
Truth is, there are plenty of these drugs available.
To control ADHD drug abuse, the medical authorities set yearly maximum quotas that drug companies are not allowed to exceed. Most companies that produce name brand ADHD drugs also produce generic versions. So you can imagine what happens.
Companies produce the more expensive name brands. The generics? Not so much.
Hilariously, a news article reports that the FDA “questions whether there really are shortages.”
That’s ridiculous. They’re not that clueless. One official says, “We believe there is plenty of supply.” And he’s right. Plenty of name brand supply.
This puts quite a few adult ADHD patients and parents of ADHD children in a bind. One adult patient reports that she called dozens of pharmacies. She was looking for a generic. But she threw in the towel and purchased a name brand for $200.
Change one or two details in these stories and patients sound like desperate addicts. They’re always worried. And they’re willing to pay high prices to score their drugs.
An ADHD patient advocacy organisation said that the shortage of generics is so common that many patients are going untreated because they think they have run out of options… or are being priced out of getting the right treatment.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“F.D.A. Is Finding Attention Drugs in Short Supply” Gardiner Harris, New York Times, 12/31/11, nytimes.com
“Meta-Analysis Reveals Magnesium May Reduce Risk of Stroke” Lee Swanson Research Update, February 2012, swansonvitamins.com