What’s Up Docs? Article

Renee C. Wachtel, MD, FAAP

Posted June 10, 2024

As every pediatrician is aware, there is a HUGE problem with ADHD medication shortages. And if the ADHD medication shortage wasn’t frustrating enough, apparently certain ADHD medications have doubled or tripled in cost since the shortage began in October 2022. According to a December 2023 report, the prices that retail community pharmacies pay for specific dosages of methylphenidate and dexmethylphenidate doubled from late 2022 to December 2023. And they were not cheap to begin with. For example,  100 tablets of 5 mg short acting Adderall costs about $1139, and 100 capsules of Vyvanse costs around $1306 without insurance. And generics are in very limited supply for those medications that have generic availability. So not only is the medication hard to get, but the pharmacies are passing on the increased costs to our patients. In addition,  many of our patients are only able to get a limited quantity (for example, 10 daily tablets with my prescription for 30 tablets) at a time from the pharmacy with a monthly prescription. 


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are seeking public comment about this issue. They are particularly interested in how pharmaceutical intermediaries may influence drug prices and availability. They are concerned that the lack of competition among drug companies and pharmaceutical middlemen may be impacting patients and their families. Please see the attached information. We can provide comment until April 15. 

Submit your comments to https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FTC-2024-0018

In addition, we can write letters to our US Congressional Representatives, the DEA and the FDA. Some sample letters are attached. 

Let me know if you need further information, and please join our CAC1 AAP Committee on Development and Behavior.