A Way You Can Address the Medication Shortage

We have heard the frustrations many members of the ADHD community are experiencing when they go to refill their ADHD medications, the disappointment and worry when the pharmacy is unable to fill a prescription because of the ongoing shortage.

CHADD’s public policy committee is pursuing all appropriate channels to bring this to the attention of policymakers and manufacturers. Many of you have asked CHADD what you can do to help these efforts to end the medication shortage.

We have composed a short sample letter to help you share your frustrations with your representatives and senators in Congress. You can use it as written or fill in your own experiences and concerns about the shortage and send or email it to your elected officials in Congress. When elected officials receive many letters from their home states, they cannot ignore this collective voice, and they are more likely to act on the matter.

Including your personal situation, if you want, emphasizes the need to have this shortage resolved. Personal stories often have a powerful impact and move elected officials to act.

Sending an email or any other message does not mean this shortage will be quickly resolved. But it is an important step to show your elected officials in Congress the urgent need to address the shortage and its importance to their constituents who elect them.

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Subject line: Help Resolve the ADHD Medication Crisis

Dear Mr./Ms. [Congressmember’s name]:
Dear Senator [Senator’s name]:

I am/We are reaching out to alert you to a crisis building within our ADHD community. It is something I am/we are sure is affecting members of your constituency, given that up to 8.5% of children and up to 5% of adults have an ADHD diagnosis or experience ADHD symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed.

The medications most commonly prescribed for ADHD are in short supply, and many people simply cannot get their prescriptions refilled because of this shortage. Stimulant medications, the most effective medications for people who have ADHD, have become difficult for many people to find. Not having access to medication as part of their ADHD treatment plan is negatively affecting them in the home, classroom, and in the workplace.

I am/We are asking that you work with your fellow members of Congress to find out why these shortages are occurring and what you can do to help resolve this serious issue. I/We also ask that you explore ways to prevent this from reoccurring. Your active assistance in this regard is greatly appreciated.

ADHD is a condition that affects individuals across the lifespan. This means that ADHD symptoms are usually experienced from one phase of life to the next, and that they extend to the various spheres of life during every phase. Effective treatment—generally a combination of medication, behavioral management and/or parent training, and lifestyle and educational supports—goes a long way toward improving the lives of adults and children who have ADHD. The current medication shortage interferes with that effective treatment. This is having serious and possibly life-altering effects on those individuals who have been prescribed medication but cannot find it locally: school failure, relationship difficulties, workplace failure, increased costs to employers, plus an increased potential for poor decision making that can lead to negative health outcomes and even contact with law enforcement.

[In our/my family, this shortage has affected us by (BRIEFLY SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE).]

Your help in finding answers to why this shortage is occurring and encouraging solutions to end it and prevent future shortages will have a positive impact for the ADHD community, especially those within your state/district.

Thank you for your time and attention to the ADHD medication shortage. [I am available at (EMAIL) if you or a member of your staff would like to discuss this further.]