Lewisham MP calls for Government action on ADHD drug shortage

Pic: Pexels/Pixabay

The Government has been criticsed by Labour MP for Lewisham and Deptford, Vicky Foxcroft, over the national shortage of vital Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder medication. 

In September 2023 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced the shortages of medications including methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, and guanfacine. The announcement says that the supply disruptions were caused by “a combination of manufacturing issues and an increased global demand”.  

Speaking at the House of Commons Foxcroft, who is also Shadow Minister for Disabled People, said: “ADHD medications are essential to many people. And in response to my written question last month, the department outlined disruptions to supplies which are expected to resolve in early 2024. How has the Government allowed this to happen? And what plans has the department to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future?” 

Maria Caulfield, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy, said in response: “This is a global shortage of ADHD medication, and as we set out in response to her written answer […] we expect that to be resolved very shortly”. 

Vicky Foxcroft Pic: UK Parliament

Some critics have suggested that the shortage in the supplies of medication essential for those suffering from ADHD are linked instead to Brexit which continues to “wreak havoc on supply chains”. 

SNP MP, Amy Callaghan, said that 70 per cent of people with ADHD have been forced to ration their medication with 62 per cent reporting an increase in suicidal thoughts, a serious risk for those who suffer from the disorder. 

The original alert from the DHSC, said: “At present the supply disruptions are expected to resolve at various dates between October and December 2023.” However, the expected resolution of the crisis has been shifted to April 2024 with ADHD UK publishing a full statement from Takeda, a significant ADHD medication supplier. 

According to the statement: “The impact that these supply disruptions across industry are having on patients and healthcare professionals is our biggest concern. From a Takeda perspective in the UK, we are doing our utmost to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and also ensure supply continuity into the future. 

Limited stock of different dose strengths across our ADHD medicines are becoming available at various times, however we are anticipating that there may be intermittent disruption until April 2024”. 

Leave a Reply