COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Parent with children who suffer from ADD and ADHD are issuing a desperate call for help. Ritalin, a popular medication to treat the disorders are in short supply leaving families and doctors concerned.
13 year old Marissa Liotta was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder last August. Her doctor prescribed Ritalin to help her cope. "She comes home from school, takes her pill and she's fine, she does her homework and she loves it," says Charles Liotta, Marissa's father.
But, this past week, her parents found out the medication is in short supply. They called around to 25 different pharmacies throughout Collier County before finding one with the drug.
"She said you have the last batch and there's no more left," says Leah Liotta, Marissa's mother. "I said can I order it now for every month and she said it's back ordered. We have no excuse why."
According to the FDA's website Methylphenidate Hydrochloride has been unavailable since February because there's a shortage of the active ingredient.
The pharmacy manager at Woolley's in East Naples says the shortage of ADHD medication is an annual issue. He says manufacturer's are out of the preferred generic brand of Ritalin, but there is generic Ritalin available, at a cost of nearly nine times more per order.
Pharmacy Manager Matt Cammuso says, "insurances aren't paying or reimbursing not only my pharmacy, but every pharmacy. They're not carrying the higher priced medication because no one wants to pay for it."
The Liotta's are thankful they lucked out this month, but they fear they'll be back on the hunt in 30 days. "The issue is, what do you do? You can't just stop taking it because of the complications involved, so we're worried," says Charles.
According to the FDA's website, there is no guess as to when the shortage will end.