Published by BBC NEWS - 22nd February 2024
  • Published
Lorelei Mathias

A Brighton author and comedian has called for an “overhaul” as ADHD patients struggle to get medication.

Lorelei Mathias said: “It’s already like a Herculean task to get your medication.”

The Department for Health and Social Care said “increased global demand and manufacturing issues” were behind the shortages, which began in 2023 and were expected to be resolved by April.

The health department said it had taken “swift action” to improve supplies.

A health department spokesperson added: “We have well-established processes to prevent, manage and mitigate medicine shortages to ensure patients can continue to access the treatments they need.”

‘Utterly exhausting’

Ms Mathias, who created the comedy web series Life in ADHD, said the shortage showed the system was “broken”.

The Brighton resident added: “My doctor described it as you’ve got an invisible broken leg that nobody can see but your medication is at the top of a 10-storey building and the lift is broken.”

Ms Mathias said the situation was “utterly exhausting”.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms include fidgeting, getting distracted and acting impulsively.

Ms Mathias said symptoms also include trouble prioritising and organising, difficulty understanding time and brain fog.

“What I am saying to everyone is you’re going to make more mistakes, you’re going to lose things, you’re going to find yourself in ridiculous situations more than normal without your medication so you’ve just got to find a way to laugh at it because that has been our lifeline,” she explained.

‘Let down’

ADHD UK charity CEO Henry Shelford said the government’s response to the medication shortage was “beyond pathetic”.

He added: “Individuals with ADHD are being let down across the country. We have waiting lists for adults of over 10 and a half years and for children of over five years.”

The health department said it had worked with the pharmaceutical industry to help resolve any issues as soon as possible and had issued advice to healthcare professionals.

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