He hasn’t been able to access Concerta or any alternatives to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for over a month
The severity of the ADHD medication shortage in the UK has been exposed as former Hollywood extra Lee Cato revealed that he was forced to quit his job but hasn’t been able to access his medicine.
A resident of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, Lee had worked as a film extra in big movies like ‘Thor’ and ‘Edge of Tomorrow’.
The 48-year-old told Mirror that he has been taking Concerta for years to manage ADHD symptoms, but he hasn’t been able to get the drug or any alternatives for over a month.
He said that he first experienced shortages of the medicine in December 2023 but was initially able to take Delmosart, which he took to maintain focus despite experiencing its side effects such as headaches, nausea, tooth erosion, and a dry mouth.
But now, he can’t get access to any of these ADHD drugs as “they’re completely out-of-stock and it’s been over a month now.”
His chemist also tried to get hold of his medication but failed.
Without his medication, his symptoms have worsened, forcing him to give up his “passion” as an extra as well as quit his weekend security guard job.
Lee told the newspaper that he has been experiencing difficulties with concentration and controlling his impulses
His sleeping pattern is all over the place, and the shortage of his medication has also left him with headaches, nausea and tooth decay.
He is now unemployed and currently dependent on benefits as he can’t “maintain a normal life and keep a solid routine”.
Lee doesn’t know when he will next be able to access medication in the future, and this has left him incredibly frustrated.
“I feel extremely anxious – and starting to really feel like a guinea pig,” he was quoted as saying.
The British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) in November 2023 revealed that 111 products were facing supply problems, the highest on record in the UK.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, Brexit, and the government’s voluntary scheme for branded medicine pricing and access (VPAS) were among the reasons blamed for the shortages.
To address the “critical shortage” of ADHD drugs, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last year prohibited the export and hoarding of five medications.
These included methylphenidate hydrochloride, Lisdexamfetamine mesylate, Dexamfetamine sulfate, Atomoxetine and Guanfacine.