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Shortage of ADHD Medication: Practical Tips

ADHD Medication Shortage

At Kolli Psychiatric and Associates, we understand how incredibly time-consuming and frustrating it can be to deal with a shortage of your ADHD stimulant medication. This situation is not only disruptive to your daily routine but also adds significant stress and uncertainty to your life. We share your frustration and are deeply concerned about the impact this shortage is having on our patients. Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of individuals facing this issue and the extensive hours required to address each case individually, we are unable to manage these tasks directly for all of our patients. However, we are here to guide you through this challenging process with practical steps and support to ensure you can continue your treatment as smoothly as possible.


1. Contact Your Pharmacy

Start by calling your regular pharmacy to check the availability of your medication. When you contact them, follow these steps:

    • Check Stock Availability: First, ask if your medication is currently in stock. If it’s not available, inquire if they know when it will be restocked. Sometimes pharmacies have specific timelines for their deliveries, and knowing this can help you plan.
    • Ask About Different Dosages: If they don’t have your medication or don’t know when it will come in, ask if they carry different dosages of the same medication. For example, if you usually take a 20 mg dose, see if they have 5 mg, 10 mg, or any other dosage that can be combined to match your prescribed amount. This option can keep you on your medication regimen even when the exact dosage is unavailable.
    • Inquire About Alternative Stimulants: If your medication is completely out of stock in all dosages, ask the pharmacist if they have alternative stimulants available in the same class. ADHD medications are generally classified into two main categories:
      • Amphetamines: Includes medications like Adderall and Vyvanse.
      • Methylphenidates: Includes drugs such as Ritalin, Focalin, and Concerta. If your specific medication is unavailable, another stimulant in the same class might be an effective alternative.


2. Call Other Local Pharmacies

If your regular pharmacy doesn’t have the options you need, start reaching out to other local pharmacies. Expanding your search can increase your chances of finding a pharmacy that has your medication or acceptable alternatives in stock.

    • Prepare a List of Pharmacies: Include both major chains and independent ones like Rumson Pharmacy, Little Silver Family Pharmacy, and Marlboro Arts Pharmacy. Independent pharmacies often have different inventory and may offer more personalized service.
    • Be Specific About Your Needs: Clearly state the medication and dosage you’re looking for, and ask about alternatives if your preferred option is unavailable.
    • Ask About Stock and Delivery: Inquire if they have the medication in stock and whether they offer delivery services, which can be convenient if you need to visit multiple locations.


3. Call Your Insurance Company

After identifying potential different dosages or alternative medications, your next step is to check with your insurance company regarding coverage. Follow these guidelines:

    • Verify Insurance Coverage for Multiple Doses: Confirm if your insurance will cover taking multiple smaller pills to meet your prescribed dosage. Some insurance plans only approve a single pill per day, which can complicate using smaller doses to achieve your required amount.
    • Check Coverage for Alternative Medications: If you are considering an alternative medication within the same class, verify whether your insurance covers it. Many insurance plans use a formulary, which is a list of medications that they prefer and cover. This list categorizes drugs into tiers based on cost and availability, with preferred drugs often having lower co-pays. Medications not on the formulary might not be covered or could require higher out-of-pocket costs and special approval, known as prior authorization. Be aware that newer medications might not be on the formulary, and you may need to get special approval for coverage.


4. Proactively Address Prior Authorization:

If switching dosages or medications, you might need a prior authorization. This means your doctor must obtain approval from your insurance before you can get coverage. To expedite this, call your insurance company and explain that your preferred medication is out of stock. Request coverage for a non-formulary medication or the ability to use multiple pills per day. Proactively managing this can reduce wait times and ensure you receive your medication sooner.


5. Utilize Manufacturer Coupons

Many newer ADHD medications come with manufacturer coupons or patient assistance programs that can significantly reduce the cost if insurance does not cover them. These coupons are often available on the manufacturer’s website and can be a great help in making newer medications more affordable.

    • Steps to Find and Use Manufacturer Coupons:
      1. Visit the manufacturer’s website: Look for sections dedicated to patient assistance programs or downloadable coupons for your medication.
      2. Ask your pharmacist: They might have information about available discounts or know where to find them.Contact the manufacturer directly: Some companies provide direct support in accessing these programs or may even send coupons to you.
      3. Visit our blog article for Savings on ADHD Medication.


6. Coordinate with Kolli Psychiatric and Associates

Once you’ve gathered information on available medications and dosages from various pharmacies, inform our office. Provide us with details about what is in stock and where. Dr. Kolli or Dr. Naqvi will then decide which alternative is most suitable and can send a new prescription to the appropriate pharmacy.


    • Effective Communication with Your Psychiatrist:
      • Provide detailed information: Share the names, dosages, and availability of medications you found, along with the pharmacy details.
      • Discuss the best alternatives: Let your doctor know about any insurance restrictions or approvals you’ve confirmed.
      • Follow up as needed: Stay in touch with your provider to ensure they send the prescription to the chosen pharmacy promptly.


If you need more information on ADHD, including the different types and how we at Kolli Psychiatric treat ADHD, please visit this page.

If you would like to understand more about ADHD medications and how they work, please visit our blog.

Are you or your child struggling with ADHD? We can help.

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Welcome to Kolli Psychiatric and Associates, where we have expert psychiatrists and therapists located in New Jersey. We provide custom solutions and treatment for mental health disorders so you can improve happiness, decrease worry, and lead a more fulfilling life.

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