Beginning in late summer, some people raised alarms about a potential nationwide shortage of Adderall, a stimulant medication commonly used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD.
“If you take this medication I’d recommend you talk to your doctor ASAP,” said one doctor in a warning about the Adderall shortage on Twitter. “There is no release date as of right now meaning we don’t know when it’ll be back in stock.”
Is there a nationwide shortage of Adderall?
Trilliant Health, a health research company
Spokesperson for Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of both name brand Adderall and some generic versions, and the largest supplier of the drug in the U.S.
Yes, there is a nationwide shortage of Adderall. This includes generic versions of the drug.
WHAT WE FOUND
Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) report a nationwide shortage of mixed amphetamine salts, commonly referred to by the brand name Adderall, on their separate drug shortage databases.
The FDA announced a nationwide Adderall shortage on Oct. 12, saying it was limited to the immediate-release formulation of the name-brand drug and its generic versions. ASHP, which uses different criteria from the FDA for identifying a drug shortage, says the shortage has been ongoing since July 27, 2022, for immediate-release formulations of Adderall and since Aug. 24, 2022, for the longer-lasting, extended-release formulation.
“The current shortage of amphetamine salts is due to manufacturing delays by one of the larger manufacturers of the product,” an ASHP spokesperson said. “Other manufacturers are unable to make enough supply to keep up with demand.”
The FDA clarified the manufacturer experiencing delays is Teva Pharmaceuticals, which produces both brand-name Adderall and generic versions of the drug. Teva, the largest supplier of Adderall in the U.S., told NBC News back in August that a labor shortage on its packaging line was to blame for delays in delivering orders to some pharmacies.
This shortage follows another Adderall shortage that began in 2019 and ended in spring 2022, according to the FDA and ASHP. “We received a lot of shortage reports from patients during the shortage earlier this year, but we are receiving many more reports from patients about the current shortage, so it appears to be worse,” the ASHP spokesperson said.
Back in August, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) said that 64% of surveyed community pharmacies had trouble getting ahold of Adderall this year.
Teva may remain behind on fulfilling demand until December 2022, according to the FDA.
“Teva has active supply of both branded Adderall and its generic version and continues to produce and refill the channel regularly at levels above historical demand,” a Teva spokesperson told VERIFY in an emailed statement. “It is possible that some people may encounter a backorder (intermittently) based on timing and demand, but these are only temporary. We are actively shipping both branded and generic Adderall to customers, and we expect inventory recovery in the coming months.”
Even with the manufacturing delays and labor issues, the FDA says Teva has been producing a larger supply of Adderall than it would typically expect to “due to increased market demand.” According to health research company Trilliant Health, Adderall prescriptions nationwide have increased since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. This trend is driven entirely by a sharp increase in prescriptions for adults.
The FDA said that patients who take Adderall should talk to their doctor about alternative treatment options if they have difficulty getting their medication.
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