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Causes of ADHD medication shortage should be resolved ‘very shortly’ – minister

Health minister Maria Caulfield denied shortages of ADHD medication were Brexit-related (PA)
Health minister Maria Caulfield denied shortages of ADHD medication were Brexit-related (PA)

Issues causing a shortage in medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are expected to be resolved “very shortly”, a health minister has said.

Maria Caulfield rejected a suggestion made in the Commons that the problem is linked to Brexit, saying it is a “global issue”.

She said the Government expected issues to be “resolved very shortly” and referred to a Government statement which described “capacity constraints at key manufacturing sites” which are “expected to resolve in early 2024”.

SNP MP Amy Callaghan (East Dunbartonshire) said: “Brexit broke Britain. And it is continuing to wreak havoc on supply chains.

“The shortage of ADHD medication is now set to drag on into next spring. The shortages have seen 70% of patients forced to ration their supply of ADHD drugs with 62% reporting an increase in suicidal thoughts.

“What steps is she taking to ensure supplies of these vital medications are reaching pharmacies across the UK?”

Ms Caulfield said: “A shortage of ADHD medications is a global issue, it’s not a Brexit-related issue, and we are hoping to have some positive news over this in the coming weeks.”

Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) also raised the issue in the Commons.

She 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?”

Ms Caulfield responded: “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.”

The Government statement she was referencing was made by health minister Andrew Stephenson in response to a written question from Ms Foxcroft.

Mr Stephenson said on November 16: “We are aware of disruptions to the supply of medicines used for the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“While some issues have now been resolved, we know that there are currently disruptions to the supply of some other medicines, primarily driven by issues which have resulted in capacity constraints at key manufacturing sites.

“These issues are expected to resolve in early 2024.”