US shortage of Adderall is due to increased demand, FDA and drug-makers say

FDA says supply does not meet demand and drug-maker says backorders are due to ‘significant rise’ in prescription rates

An increase in prescriptions and an ongoing labor crunch have helped contribute to a nationwide shortage of Adderall across the US.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday confirmed the shortage of the drug, used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The FDA said Teva, the largest manufacturer, is facing “ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays”.

While other companies are still producing the drug, the FDA said the supply does not meet demand in the US.

In August, Teva said it was running out of the drug due to a labor shortage, but that the issue had been resolved.

Teva told ABC that supply was not the problem, but increased demand. It said “intermittent backorders” at the company were owing to a “significant rise” in prescription rates across the country.

“This can cause some constraint to product availability,” the company said.

ADHD is mainly diagnosed in children, though many children and adults can go undiagnosed. Adderall, the common name for amphetamine mixed salts, can be administered to children as young as three.

ADDitude Magazine, a publication and community space for people with ADHD, with nearly 500,000 followers, claims that during the pandemic, diagnoses of the disorder shot up. It suggested parents were now spending more time with their children and thus more closely observing behavioral patterns and struggles with studying and attention. As for adults, their “coping mechanisms and systems broke down”, the magazine said, teaching them about their own attention skills.

The shortage of Adderall is taking a toll on pharmacies and pharmacists. One in Baton Rouge told NBC that the “severity” of the shortage is new: “​​It is something we’ve seen before, but not to the severity, this bad, before,” said Tylan Jones, sales director at Parker’s Pharmacy.

Teva told ABC news it anticipates the shortage to be fixed “within months”. The FDA said it was monitoring the issue and working with manufacturers to help address the shortage.


Samira Asma-Sadeque

The GuardianTramp

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