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DH and MHRA ban wholesalers from hoarding or exporting five ADHD drugs

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have added five ADHD medications to the list of drugs that wholesalers are prevented from exporting or hoarding. 

As of yesterday (October 9), wholesale dealer licence holders cannot “hoard” or export five different attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs from the UK.

The DH added the medications to its regularly updated ‘list of medicines that cannot be exported from the UK or hoarded', which it uses to identify products that “are needed for UK patients”.

DH guidance defined the “hoarding” of medicines as “when wholesale dealers withhold a medicine when it’s in short supply”.

The DH and MHRA add medicines to the list if there is “evidence” or a “risk of a critical shortage”, it said.


Which drugs are on the list? 


The drugs yesterday added to the list include “all” strengths and pharmaceutical forms of:

  • Methylphenidate hydrochloride 

  • Atomoxetine

  • Lisdexamfetamine mesylate

  • Dexamfetamine sulfate

  • Guanfacine

All five of the medicines are used to treat ADHD. 

Also newly added to the list as of yesterday were travel sickness medication Hyoscine hydrobromide 1.5mg patches and diuretic Bumetanide tablets in all strengths.

The DH stressed that “hoarding or exporting” any of the medications on the list “may lead to regulatory action” by the MHRA that “could include immediate suspension of the wholesale dealer licence”.


Manufacturing issues behind shortages 


Last month (September 27), the DH sent a national patient safety alert to community pharmacies warning them of “supply disruptions affecting various strengths” of certain ADHD medications.

It said that the “safety critical” shortages had been caused by “a combination of manufacturing issues and an increased global demand” – and that healthcare professionals should take action by tomorrow (October 11).

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) set out that prescribers should not initiate new patients on the affected medicines until the shortages resolve.

The negotiator advised that “healthcare professionals in primary care” should contact community pharmacies to establish availability of supply where patients have “insufficient supplies to last until the re-supply date”.

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