An open letter to Sen. Butler, Sen. Padilla, Rep. Kiley.
  1. United States
  2. Calif.
  3. Letter

An Open Letter

To: Sen. Butler, Sen. Padilla, Rep. Kiley

From: A constituent in Folsom, CA

June 6

Dear Representative, Millions of Americans are affected by the ADHD medication shortage. Stimulant medication is a first-line treatment for ADHD, meaning that experts have agreed it is the most effective way to treat this condition.1,2 Research shows that stimulants are effective, safe, and vital to improving the health outcomes of individuals with ADHD. Stimulant medication is not associated with increased risk of substance use disorders, in fact, it has been associated with reduced risk of substance use disorders for adolescents with ADHD. Stimulant overdose deaths are not related to prescription stimulants.1 Conversely, when individuals with ADHD are denied access to stimulant medications, they are more likely to experience dangerous consequences such as motor vehicle accidents, risky driving, unplanned pregnancies, financial problems, lower academic and occupational achievement and diminished social functioning. All of these impact not just the individual with ADHD, but the community as a whole. 1   The drug shortage has created immense hardship for individuals already living with a highly stigmatized condition. Some caregivers and patients must endure hours of phone calls and travel each month to access pharmacies that can fill their prescriptions. Providers have switched patients to less-than-optimal-but-available alternative medications. Patients who can access their ADHD medication must now contend with higher drug prices, which are outpacing inflation. The causes for the shortage are mystifying, especially as the DEA, FDA, and drug manufacturers trade blame. Many caregivers and patients with ADHD feel the FDA’s and DEA’s lack of transparency and unwillingness to take meaningful action to end the shortage reflects a deep-seated belief that ADHD is not a valid diagnosis or a real, debilitating condition. I urge you to identify steps that relevant agencies and policymakers can take to end this shortage. I support any legislative proposals to this end, including calling a congressional hearing to understand what the FDA and DEA are doing to mitigate the shortage and improve treatment outcomes for patients prescribed ADHD medication. I appreciate your timely focus and attention to this dire situation. The livelihood of millions of Americans depends on your swift action. Sincerely, Jeannette M. Giorgio, PhD

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