Adderall Shortage

Adderall has been in shortage for five months, and those who need the medication are trying to find new alternatives for the medicine. However, this result has been unsuccessful as the alternatives have also been in scarcity. 

Senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at ASHP, Michael Ganio believes that the unexpected rise in demand for the medication is at fault rather than manufacturing equipment or quality issues.

Ganio stated, “All of our drug shortage infrastructure and everything we have in place in this country to mitigate the impact of shortages is based on potential supply disruptions. It’s been very unusual to have a shortage based on increased demand.”

According to a recent study by the health data company Trilliant Health, the medication has risen to 15.1% in 2020 which is double the year before. It is believed that in recent years, Adderall has risen more than pharmaceuticals could have expected.  

Since there has been a history of abuse and addiction to pills, the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration now limit how many pills a pharmacy can dispense and how frequently people can refill their prescriptions. However, there is an issue: the FDA uses research from previous years to estimate how many pills to make.

Leslie Pott, a spokesperson for a company that makes Aderrall stated, “Since mid-2022, we found when a customer ordered more from us than what they forecasted, we were unable to fulfill those orders. We petitioned the DEA for an increase in volume, with some requests accepted and some denied.”

The senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at ASHP, Michael Ganio stated that if there is a patient demand for Adderall then the DEA is willing to increase the amount of quotas. “Making more drugs is not as easy as just flipping a switch. The FDA and DEA are seeing more demand, but how much more?” stated Ganio.

Many towns in the northeastern region of the state of Virginia wrote a letter petitioning the FDA and DEA to organize a federal response to the shortage of Adderall. The advocacy branch of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists have also been putting pressure on the government to improve on how to deal with issues in drug supply and demand.

However, the scarcity of Adderall is also concerning the experts of addiction. According to addiction medicine specialist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Dr. Eric Kutscher, the ability for the abuse of drugs has Kutscher worried about the shortage. Kutscher believes that people who have substance disorders might turn to drugs that are even more dangerous than Adderall or more addictive. They’re have been already reports of people who use deaths of Adderall laced with fentanyl. 

“We have a limited safe supply, and an available, very dangerous supply that could hurt a lot of people. From a public health perspective, this is an emergency,” stated Kutscher.

However, Michael Ganio believes that in order for the government to address the ADHD drug shortage they first must give out more transparency from the companies that make these drugs, they must also be more prepared for future drug demand.