Nationwide Adderall Shortage Expected to Last Into 2023 — Here's Why
The medication Adderall is commonly used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy, and in 2018, it was reported that 6 percent of adults in the United States have used prescription stimulants such as Adderall.
Just like other consumer staples currently experiencing shortages, such as baby formula and aluminum, prescription drugs are also on backorder and many pharmacies are experiencing issues filling prescriptions.
So, is Adderall on the FDA drug shortage list?
Unfortunately, Adderall, which goes by the generic name amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is currently experiencing shortages. According to the FDA, "The market is considered covered when supply is available from at least one manufacturer to cover total market demand."
If total market demand isn't met, it's considered to be in shortage. Adderall is listed as "currently in shortage" on the FDA website and has been since 2019.
Many have used social media to express their frustration with the shortage.
"The Adderall shortage is ruining my life," one person tweeted before another added, "There's a national shortage of Adderall. I've been out of my prescribed meds for over a week now!"
A third chimed in, "Not there being an Adderall AND Vyvanse shortage. Getting and staying medicated with #adhd is always a great lesson in how hostile society is for people with disabilities."
Why is there an Adderall shortage?
The shortage is being attributed to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which sets limits on the manufacturing of ADHD drugs, to try to curtail illegal use. However, that isn't the only reason.
"In a nutshell, the shortage occurred because the Drug Enforcement Agency did not take into account, during the [affected] allotment period, the fact that the two biggest selling stimulants — Concerta and Adderall XR — were going generic," William B. Dodson, M.D told ADDitude magazine. "The agency didn’t give the generic manufacturers and wholesalers an accurate quota to meet the demand for these new, popular generics."
According to IMS, a medical informatics firm, more than 80 percent of drug shortages are generics.
When will the Adderall shortage end?
The FDA is currently reporting that the estimated dates for recovery of supply extend as late as March 2023, and some experts are agreeing, predicting that the shortage is not ending anytime soon.
To make matters worse, there is no alternative drug that patients can easily switch to amid the shortage.
"The shortage had been going on for a few months, but it appeared to be improving somewhat,” Michael Ganio, PharmD, the senior director of pharmacy practice and quality for ASHP told Pharmacy Practice News. “Now it has definitely worsened. We have seen an uptick in reports of generic Adderall product shortages sent into our drug shortage database recently, and the FDA report confirms this.”
He continued, "Your pharmacy may have the drug on the shelf today, but tomorrow when you are allowed to refill it, it may be gone. Anytime a controlled substance is involved with a shortage, there is an additional layer of complication involved.”
The FDA also has an app to keep up to date on the latest drug shortages.