A national shortage of Adderall, a prescription drug commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD), has continued into the Spring months of 2023. The shortage was first announced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in October of 2022 when Teva, the world’s largest drug maker, reported a production issue.
According to Clinical Pharmacist Mia Le, the problem lies in the inconsistency in the strengths and availability of the drug. “The issue is there is really no constituencies in what strengths we are able to get in and when we are able to get them in. We are seeing a lot of patients have to shop around and see what pharmacies have the strength and then at that point it’s being able to get that strain in consistently,” said Le.
The demand for Adderall has risen nearly 27 percent, with prescription climbing to 35.5 million in 2019. Adults between the ages of 22 and 44 have been a part of the growing need for the focus drug. “I think it actually started with the 20 milligram Adderall’s. We were having trouble getting that, so we were switching to the 10 milligrams. And then some were going from extended release to immediate release,” explained Le.
One problem is that pharmacies can only order a handful of controlled substances at a time. “Right now, we are having trouble getting the extended-release strengths in. We do have some of the five, fifteens and I think twenties right now, but like I said, it is very difficult to know if we are going to get it in consistently,” said Le.
For patients who use Adderall, Le suggests reaching out to their local pharmacy before having their doctor send in a prescription. Since Adderall is a controlled substance, pharmacies cannot send prescriptions to each other as it directly needs to come from the providing physician.
The shortage of Adderall has caused significant issues for patients across the United States, with many struggling to access their medication.
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