Statement on shortage of ADHD medication

Statement / comment
19 October 2023

The College is aware of the severe disruption in supply that is being experienced in relation to ADHD medications. We know that this is causing significant worry to those who use the medication and the clinicians who treat them.

The update provided in this communication is based on information we have received via NHS England. Please also our newer update with new guidance.

The current disruption to supply is worldwide in its impact and the expectation is that there will not be an immediate resolution in the context of all products, although there is progress on certain medications. It may take time for supplies to reach the front line even in these cases.

The NHS are working with Governments across the UK who are responsible for managing all medication shortages. As part of this, there have been alerts issued to advise on the shortages, which include the guidance not to start new patients on any affected products until the supply situation resolves.

The NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service also have resources available. This includes a listing of those products currently available, as well as the medicine supply tool, which gives details of all medicines in short supply.

We understand that individual clinicians may need to request access to the medicine supply tool but that securing this access shouldn't be a problem.

There is also work being undertaken by the NHS to gather information about the impacts on local services through their links to regions, which it is acknowledged currently only reinforces the significance of the impact that this shortage is having.

In terms of seeking alternative supplies, we are assured that Governments across the UK are both monitoring potential availability very closely, while also working closely with the MHRA over importing unlicensed products from other countries.

Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier the shortages of products appears to be a worldwide issue, so unless and until manufacturers step up production, struggling with shortages may be the norm for some time. Although some medications such as atomoxetine should be returning sooner, details of this can be found on the SPS website.

We will continue as a College to push for this issue to be prioritised so that the shortages do not go on any longer than is necessary. We will provide an update as and when we have more information.

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