Methylphenidate ER tablets (Concerta and Teva): Supply issue

Supply issue Active

Stock of some strengths of Concerta and Methylphenidate ER - Teva extended release tablets are constrained.

On this page

19 July 2024

Supply status updated as at 18 July. There is an expected shortage of Concerta and Methylphenidate ER - Teva.  People's Special Authorities may have expired, please double check that they have the right one.

Supply status


  • 18 mg – Available. Next shipment is due in late October. Expected shortage from early August to late October 
  • 27 mg – Available. Next shipments are due late August and late December.
  • 36 mg – Out of stock with the supplier – Next shipments due mid August and late October. Expected shortage  from now until mid August.
  • 54 mg – Available. Next shipment due mid-September. Expected shortage from mid-August 

All strengths of Concerta are on allocation. "On allocation" means that the supplier has restricted the amount of tablets it will provide to wholesalers. Allocation aims to spread the available supply as fairly as possible. This may mean that supply at wholesalers and pharmacies varies from what we say here.  

It will take time for supply to move through the supply chain to wholesalers once stock arrives. Pharmacies please talk to your wholesaler for more details on timings.

We are working closely with Janssen, the supplier of Concerta, to understand the supply outlook and any improvements in supply that can be made. 

Concerta Schedule listing(external link)

Methylphenidate ER – Teva

Methylphenidate ER - Teva remains available but supply is likely to be constrained until the next shipment in October.

About this supply issue

There is global shortage of ADHD medicines, including methylphenidate extended release. Demand has increased rapidly here and overseas. Demand has increased 140% in Aotearoa over the last two years

Pharmac is expecting gaps in supply of both Concerta and Teva brands of extended-release methylphenidate throughout 2024 and into 2025. 

We’re anticipating that during these supply gaps, some people will not be able to access their brand of extended-release methylphenidate.  

People who take Concerta 

Due to global supply problems with ADHD medicine, you may need to change temporarily from Concerta to Methylphenidate ER - Teva. Clinicians have advised us that it is safe to switch between these two brands. While we appreciate this may not be ideal, switching brand helps make sure you can continue to receive your medicine.  

You will not need a new prescription - your pharmacist should be able to make the change for you. There may be a delay if you need a new Special Authority for the Teva Brand. A Special Authority is the funding approval for your methylphenidate.

Talk to your pharmacist if you have more questions and how long any delay may be if your prescriber needs to apply for a new Special Authority.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak directly with your pharmacist or prescriber.

We acknowledge that brand changes can sometimes cause concern and we appreciate your patience and understanding with this supply issue.

Pharmacists dispensing methylphenidate

With the shortfall of Concerta brand, you may need to dispense Methylphenidate ER - Teva to ensure people can continue to access their medicine. 

People using the Concerta brand may still have an active Special Authority approval for the Teva brand. If their approval has lapsed, or they only have an approval for Concerta, their doctor will need to make a renewal or a new application. 

Please do not dispense two x 18 mg Concerta tablets as an alternative for the 36 mg strength. The supply of 18 mg is already constrained with a two-month gap expected between August and October. 

No new prescription needed

Medsafe has confirmed that Section B of the Misuse of Drugs Act allows for methylphenidate to be substituted to an alternative presentation at pharmacy level.

Rule 3.4.2 of the Pharmaceutical Rules, allows you to swap people from Concerta to Methylphenidate ER - Teva without a new prescription. The rule states: "When it is not practicable to dispense the requested presentation, a Pharmacist may alter the presentation of a Subsidised Community Pharmaceutical to another Subsidised presentation but may not alter the dose, frequency and/or total daily dose dispensed."

Supporting people through the brand change

We know some people using methylphenidate will need additional support from their pharmacist and may have questions about this supply issue or changing brands of methylphenidate.

Please reassure people that clinical advice indicates that it is safe to switch between these two brands.

A brand switch fee applies from 1 April 2024 for people moving from Concerta to Methylphenidate ER - Teva. It will be removed on 1 August 2024. 

About brand switch fees

Thank you

We acknowledge the additional work that supply issues create for pharmacists. Thank you for your time and effort to support people through supply issues. 

Please email if there are any resources we could provide that would support your communication with patients.

Prescribers of methylphenidate

Alternative treatments

Please consider these shortages when starting new patients on Concerta or Teva extended-release methylphenidate. 

Other stimulant/ADHD treatment options in the Pharmaceutical Schedule(external link)

NZ Formulary information on ADHD treatment options(external link)

New Special Authorities may be needed

The Concerta and Methylphenidate ER - Teva brands of extended-release methylphenidate have different Special Authority numbers. During previous supply gaps, people prescribed Concerta were issued a Special Authority for Teva, so it could be dispensed without their prescriber needing to apply for an initial Special Authority for the Teva brand. 

  • If your patient's Teva Special Authority number has expired, please renew this.
  • If your patient has recently started on Concerta 18 mg or 36 mg, please apply for an initial Special Authority for the Teva brand. 

Thank you

We appreciate your support in helping manage this supply issue and ensuring access to methylphenidate is maintained for all those who have been affected.

Thank you for your time supporting this supply issue.


There have been ongoing worldwide shortages of methylphenidate since the COVID-19 pandemic. These shortages have been caused by a global increase in demand, import/export challenges, manufacturing constraints, and quota limits. 

In September 2023, the supplier, Teva, alerted Pharmac to a supply issue for all strengths of Methylphenidate ER - Teva brand extended release methylphenidate. This was due to a global increase in demand. To make sure people could continue to get methylphenidate, we made changes to Special Authorities so people could use the Concerta brand of extended release methylphenidate. 

In December 2023, we communicated about constraints on the supply of Concerta. On 1 March 2024, the changes to the Special Authority for Concerta were reversed to help with preserving the stock of Concerta for those who cannot use Methylphenidate ER - Teva.

There is now pressure on the supply of the Concerta brand. 

Who to contact

If you take methylphenidate, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you have any questions about this supply issue.

If you have questions about the funding of methylphenidate, email

Please include as much information as you can about the product (presentation, brand, pharmacode) and who your wholesaler is.  

Sign up to our email list for regular emails about supply issues and more(external link)