The Therapeutic Goods Administration has reported shortages of several popular drugs, while a drug used to treat ADHD in children and adults has been taken off the shelves.
The stimulant drug Ritalin used for ADHD is one of 341 drugs that have been listed as having a limited or non-existent supply.
Stay up to date with the latest news with The National Briefing – catch up on news as it happens:
Other medications are experiencing shortages, including antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and medications to treat blood clotting and asthma.
Another 74 drugs are expected to experience shortages at some point in 2022.
The TGA lists 10mg, 20mg, and 30mg doses of Ritalin as insufficient.
Supplier Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia said the issue was due to a resolved manufacturing issue.
“(The supplier) has notified the TGA of shortages of several strengths of Ritalin…due to a manufacturing issue.”
The TGA said, “A drug shortage occurs when there is unlikely to be enough medicine in Australia for the people who need it.”
“There are usually other brands, strengths, or dosage forms of the same drug available.”
However, for some patients who have struggled to find a medication that they have responded positively to – often seen in those taking antidepressants – finding an alternative is not always easy.
Psychiatrist Dr Tanveer Ahmed told the The telegraph of the day the patients had struggled to go to school and work with the sudden shortage of the drug and even though he had prescribed other drugs, it was not “ideal”.
“We received several calls from the end of last week to the beginning of this week from people unable to collect their medication,” he said.
“It has left people panicking and (has) a range of knock-on effects, people not functioning as well at work, some people have been forced to take days off, children have more behavioral problems in the school yard.
“It’s not ideal [to swap medications] because everyone is not going to react in the same way and some people just had to do without it.
People can visit the TGA website to view the full list of drug shortages.
Get the latest breaking news from SCA newsrooms across Australia. Short, simple and all you need to know.