Whispers about the difficulty of obtaining Adderall have been circulating among patients for months.
Last week, the FDA officially confirmed their fears — the drug and its generic versions are in short supply, per The Wall Street Journal.
Notorious on college campuses as a study drug…
… Adderall is a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In recent years, a couple factors have led to increased usage in the workplace:
- Increased diagnoses: ADHD is ~2x as common today among US children as it was in the 1980s, and many patients continue their prescription after entering the workforce.
- Virtual prescriptions: In 2020, the federal government passed legislation allowing patients to get Adderall prescribed virtually, which telehealth startups like Cerebral took advantage of.
Further, a rise in prescriptions among 22- to 44-year-olds during the pandemic revealed many didn’t actually have a formal ADHD diagnosis.
This sudden rise in prescriptions led to increased demand — a problem for pharmaceutical companies with strict manufacturing quotas.
So what’s next?
Increased demand is just one part of the problem.
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the largest supplier of Adderall in the US, says a labor shortage on its packaging line has slowed production, resulting in low supply.
For patients, that means it could be a while before that next prescription is filled.
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