Shortage of ADHD medicine across the Channel Islands

Credit: ITV Channel

Pharmacies across the Channel Islands are facing a shortage of medication for ADHD - or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

It follows the NHS reporting a global problem with the availability of drugs used to treat ADHD.

More than 160 children aged 16 and under were given medication for ADHD in Jersey and  Guernsey in 2022 - while that figure was under 100 in 2019.

Prescribing Advisor, Geraldine O'Riordan says: "Guernsey sources medicines from the same companies and wholesalers as the NHS, so this is also a problem here.

"The latest information on these products is that supplies are expected to improve somewhat in December 2023. But in practice, it may be several more weeks before they return to normal.

"We know that this is unsettling and unwelcome news for ADHD patients and their families."

Dr Catherine Keep, Clinical Lead for CAMHS, said: "We have been informed of national shortages of supply of some medications used for treatment of ADHD. 

"Due to the shortage, the pharmacy at Jersey General Hospital have requested that we only prescribe one month at a time to manage supply and demand.

"We receive regular updates about the situation but if patients have any problems with obtaining their usual medication they can contact their prescribing clinician at CAMHS to discuss options.”

  • Pharmacist Simon Wall says there are solutions for those unable to get their usual dose.

Simon Wall, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's ambassador to Jersey, says there could be a number of reasons behind the low stocks - including manufacturing and quality control problems.

But he added there are solutions for those unable to get their usual dose.

"If one brand is not available, an alternative brand might be available - and speaking to your prescriber they might be happy to prescribe an alternative brand or different strength."

"It may be that some patients might have to think about only taking their medication on the days they need to. They could eke out their supply by not taking it on weekends or if they're not going to school," says Simon. "Also it's not dangerous with most of these medicines to stop them abruptly. So there's nothing they should be worried about there. But if they do have any questions - speak to their prescriber."

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