Focalin Shortage

Concerned Mother of 2 Says:

My son has been on Focaling regular release for two years, we have never had a problem getting his medicine filled until this past month. Since he was diagnosed at 4 we have tried EVERY other medicine out there but nothing works for him but Focalin. He is finally where he needs to be and is doing well at home and in school. I am not sure what to do, is there any idea when this shortage will be over? He takes 20MG in the monring 15 at lunch and 10 in the afternoon. So our prescription is fairly large. He cannot take the XR because it has to many ups and downs. It is sad that because of the drug abusers that my child who cannot function without this medication cannot get what they need. It makes me SICK that some of these comments are from adults just using this drug to have energy or to get their housework done. Our son needs this to be a normal child, to be able to go to school, to be able to play with his friends, to be able to play baseball. If you are using this drug just for the fun of it please go and find something else to catch a buzz with. Do not take the drugs little kids need away from them for your selfishness.

74 Replies (4 Pages)

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Verwon Says:

Who told you that there was a shortage?

I've searched several listings and none of them show this medication as being on a reported shortage, right now.

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Dean Says:

My son is also on Focalin and the pharmacy said that they are out of regular (non-generic) and the generic. I have a friend that has been dealing with the generic shortage for months because her insurance would not allow the regular. It seems both are out in my area. We were getting regular, but were told there is a shortage for that also. Pharmacy said they contacted my doctor to ask if he can just give him something different. This has also been the only one working for him and has had problems in school until the end of last year when he started it.

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my2kids1935 Says:

Verwon, my husband and I Over the past month have called and went to over 20 different pharmacies and every single one of them have said the same thing sorry this is on back order and we have not been able to get it in. Several of my friends are in the same situation. This month I had to get half of his medicine filled 10 me pills and half filled in 5mg pills.

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Monica Says:

There is definitely a shortage because Focalin brand name is now available in generic. The company that manufactured the brand name lost their patent after 7years (which isn't unusual) and now the generic manufacturers can't produce enough to keep up with the demand.
Our outpatient clinic prescribes Focalin long- and short-acting all the time and parents are having a really difficult time finding any medication. This is pretty much widespread over the state of Maryland.
Then insurance companies won't authorize payment for the brand name Focalin (even if it's available but the generic is not)! Patient's are caught in the middle!
I've written to the FDA to report the shortage and asked for advisement.
I'm thinking parents need need to contact insurance companies also as well as the Focalin drug company about this.

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Tam Says:

I wish they would get this fix they just put my kiddo on facalin dec and he was doing great the they change it to Ritalin and it don't work right grr

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Dean Says:

Just found Focalin at another pharmacy. They can't get the generic, but my insurance will cover the regular. The generic is suppose to be the one that is hard to get, but my other pharmacy could not get either. I was calling all over and willing to drive hours if need be. Safe for another month.

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Aspergers Says:

My son is on the 5mg regular focalain and it is a manufactor issue. Teva is the only company that makes the brand and generic of this. So this month I have no clue as to where to find it. I've had to go to mom and pop pharmacies here to get it and I have drained them on the med. hopefully teva will stop the shortage seeing what it is doing to patients that are on this med. my son has Aspergers so this med is a godsend he was in vyvanse and it made him stop eating and zombie like. This med is great for him since he does not have ADHD and his eating is sooooo much better and socially it has got him out of that socially awkward shell. Come on Teva do what needs to be done. Btw..I'm in Tennessee

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Darlak Says:

Pharmacies are out of Focalin in our area as well. They are calling it a "manufacturer shortage"

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Aspergers Says:

I'm calling Teva today to find out when this so called shortage is going to be over. U would think that with it having a generic other companies would be making this medication. I will post back once I find something out. I know my sons doctor tells me to keep checking different pharmacies but heck I'm sure everyone else that uses this med is doing that and it helps us none at all if they the pharmacies can't get it. Very frustrating to say the least but I will post back and let u guys know what Teva has to say

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Tomm Says:

pls reply bach with what Teva pharmaceuticals has to say. both generic and Focalin are backordered in my area.

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Aspergers Says:

I called them and the lady I spoke to told me it can be up to 6 weeks on the shortage but wasn't 100% sure! She told me that I would have to call around to pharmacies here to see if they have it in stock...well like I told her I have done that and since it's on a manufactor back order it's their issue (Teva's) because the pharmacies can not get it in at all. The rep told me that I (actually my son with Aspergers) will just have to wait for it to be back in stock. WTF?!??!! How can he or anyone else just wait I asked her..she had no response to that. I don't know what we are gonna do when his refill for this medication is due next week. He has been on everything else and like I had stated before this medication is the only one that has not turned him into a zombie and made him stop eating. This medication has truly been a godsend for him. If anyone wants to contact Teva here is their # 1-888-838-2872.

I hope this helps u guys out. I know it's not much when u need to get your script filled.

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Dean Says:

I was told from the pharmacy " can't get blood from a stone" . Really, these are children that can't miss a month of school and even if they go they will miss things. Like you this has been the only meds that have really worked for my son. This school year has been the best for him and he is in 4th grade. This is probably not what you want to hear, but call around you may have to drive. I found it at a small pharmacy.

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my2kids1935 Says:

Thank you all for your replies this is just such a sad situation . I contacted Teva by email and they said it is on backorder for 8 weeks but that could change and that I should consult my son's physician for an alternative medication. There is not an alternative medication we have tried every single other medicine there is. I am just devistated. I hope this situation in a more timely manner.

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Jayne Says:

My kids take 2/10mg in am, 2/10 mg at school and 2/10mg at 4:00 after school. We finally found a medication and dose that works. Now since there is no focalin my kids doctor has put them on 20, 20, and 20 of ritilan. From what I've read, focalin is double the strength of ritilan. It's like they're not on anything. Basically we've started all over. I cannot keep missing work to get these kids out of school. It's very in ethical to get these kids on a medicine that works then jerk it away. What if it was a heart medicine??? Is ADHD not as important? The manufacturer needs to get it together!!!!~ disgusted mother of 4. 2 on focalin for ADHD and PTSD

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Jayne Says:

Every pharmacy that I've been to in and around Birmingham al

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Melissa Says:

Your story is my story. I have an almost 12 yr old severe ADHD son who needs these meds. The XR is to up and down for him. What are we going to do? My child will suffer for this.

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Jayne Says:

This morning I tried 1&1/2 the pill and it seems okay. Not as it should be but, okay. I guess we just gotta get our kids through this the best we can. It's really sad.

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April Says:

I'm in Birmingham as well, have tried every Pharmacy within 150 miles and cannot locate Focalin 5mg for my frustrating!

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Dean Says:

April see if they can get 2.5. That is what my pharmacy was going to do but we found it elsewhere.

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Jayne Says:

Checked back around here today and still no word on when. I have called the doctor twice and he won't return my calls. I'm steamed! The ritilan is no good! My daughter had finally made it out of isolation and into a group in her class now I'm scared she will go back downhill. We need an advocate to help us!!! It's not ethical practice to do our kids this way!!!!

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Archiesalem Says:

I currently take Focalin XR and have now run out of the medication. I have such difficulty maintaining an adequate supply due to bureaucratic red tape. I have been getting on mail order for a 2 month supply. The mail order pharmacy through the health insurance company in contract with my moms union for some reason did not send the medication. I must have called every pharmacy in NYC to see if any of them had it in stock and each time was told no. How is it that every pharmacy in NYC is out of stock? This is an emergency. I need this medication to concentrate and focus at work. I can't work well without it. This is not fair that they have caused my performance at work to dwindle because someone dropped the ball.

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DeeD Says:

I was heart broken to read all the stores of parent, grandparents, guardians, etc. who can not get their prescriptions filled for Focalin. I have a child who is ADHD and does well with this medication and every month I have problems getting his prescription re-filled. I have been told not only is it a manufacturing problems but also the DEA regulates and limits the amount that can be manufactured. I can guarantee you that if the President and CEO of the manufacturing company or the top DEA Officials had a child who had ADHD and was off medication, we wouldn't have a problem because they would know from first hand experience how difficult it is. I can let them borrow my grandson for a week when he is not on medication if they would be up for the task.

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John Says:

Yes, because there are only so many Focalin trees and many were damaged by floods last year.

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Natalie Ward Says:

I recently was able to get a 3 month supply of the generic Focalin from CVS Mail Order. I was surprised that they were able to fill a 3 month supply. I'm hoping that they will continue to get the generic Focalin from the manufacturer. At our local Walgreens, it is extremely difficult to get it. They order it, but we never know when it will come. It has been hit and miss with Walgreens.

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TrappedbyADHDMeds Says:

My son needs this med to function with the ADHD. I'm ready to start looking for a "street pharmacist" to get it filled! So Sad!

Well, this thread was started back in January. It is middle May now. In the Toledo Ohio Area I still have shortage. 2nd month fighting and calling around to find anything for my son. I was lucky earlier in the month to have gotten some name brand after calling around but everything is still back order and the pharmacy that I got it from seemed to indicate it was the last of the name brand they had or almost out.

I have a mail order service though the insurance company for faster and cheaper meds. They can't fill it either because of back-order. The FDA website ( shows the generic, TEVA manufactured, on back-order but the name brand, Novartis , is supposedly available.

I called Novartis and they confirmed that since May 2nd they have been shipping their manufactured Focalin. That seemed to be new news to the pharmacies I called as neither showed it available from their wholesalers. So apparently some wholesale outlets for the pharmacy may not be getting a supply yet.

I emailed FDA ( [email protected] ) to also report shortage is still effecting patients. It almost seems like collusion to me if the Novartis can make it but TEVA cannot. And I stated that in my email. This needs to be pushed! There is no reason the generic should be unavailable unless there is collusion to price fix going on between these two manufacturers.

Just so frustrated...

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Pablo Says:

Just called Manufacturer and told another at least 8 weeks...due to increase in demand from one company and another says its a shortage of active ingredient...

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Ann Marie Says:

I am in the same situation. My 16 yr old daughter has been on Focalin since she was 7 years old. I started experiencing "back-order' issues the last 2 times I tried to fill her RX. I found info on this web site:

It stated the back order was only for 40 MG. I contacted the pharmacy and they resubmitted the order. Hopefully we can get it filled. It is very inconvenient especially when this is a "daily" medication.

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Anxious Mom Says:

Relief! For this month, anyway. My mom who has a Sam's card suggested that I call Sam's pharmacy. Thankfully, they had what I needed. I hope this shortage won't be an issue next month.

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Focalin Frustrated Says:

I did find one drugstore in my town this week after calling about a dozen that had received a Teva generic 10mg batch. But it sold out immediately before I got there. I called around the next day to another five or six and I found it at a CVS. So, the Teva released batches are starting to get on the market. The key is HOW QUICKLY TEVA and NOVARTIS MOVED WHEN THE DRUG GOT LISTED ON THE SHORTAGE LIST. Up until the shortage listing Teva had been saying it may take 6 months or more. However, the scrutiny of it listed as being as a shortage drug remedied the supply issue faster than anything. The moral of the story is that the next time this happens we have to act in a concerted way to get the FDA to quickly recognize the shortage. I applaud everyone on here for calling the FDA and others (congress people, American Assoc. of Pharm Professionals, etc.). People on here are the reason this drug is out there today in my opinion.

Just remember that the cozy exclusive license relationship Teva has with Novartis is set up well to manipulate and force the sale of Focalin XR at the expense of its generic "cousin". It is amazing how quickly the "raw material shortage" situation at Teva was resolved once the FDA listed it as being a national shortage and Teva faced the newspaper articles and scrutiny that comes along with that distinction. Teva had hid behind "quota" excuses for far too long and when the quota myth was debunked and Teva got its drug listed as a shortage item and had to give a reason other than quotas (which was not correct), Teva shipped within two weeks.

Again, thank you for all your pushing on this and remember next time what worked to get the shortage fixed: Listing on the shortage website.

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Anxious Mom Says:

My daughter takes Focalin 10mg BID. So far, it's the only medication that works well for her. Lawrenceville, Ga and 100miles away is out of Focalin both generic and trade. *sadface*. This sucks but I just called TEVA and was told that Focalin 10mg was just released and will be in pharmacies within 7-10 days. Also, Focalin 5mg will be released in 6weeks. I will be waiting at the pharmacy in 7 days, then 8, then 9 and then 10. Hoping they are correct in what they told me. Here is the number for TEVA: 1-888-838-2872

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