Adderall shortage: Here’s what we know

(NewsNation) — Adderall, a drug commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is in short supply and people are struggling to fill their prescriptions.

The shortage was confirmed last month by the US Food and Drug Administration, which said in a statement that “there is insufficient supply to meet US market demand.”

Teva, the drug’s most prolific generic manufacturer, said it has experienced persistent production delays. According to an October Bloomberg report, the company expects supply issues through March.

Increased demand for the drug is also responsible for the shortage, with total Adderall prescriptions skyrocketing in the US, according to an Axios report citing figures from pharmaceutical research firm IQVIA.

In 2021, Adderall, both generic and branded, was prescribed 41.4 million times in the US, up 10% from 2020, according to IQVIA.

Reports in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suggest ADHD diagnoses, and therefore Adderall prescriptions, became easier to obtain and more popular during the epidemic.

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ADHD services are becoming readily available online in response to growing mental health awareness and growing demand for telehealth.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some online services remotely diagnosed people with ADHD after a 30-minute video call. The report states that this is faster than the typical diagnosis of an individual psychiatrist.

Online tools have made getting an ADHD diagnosis much easier, and perhaps too easy, according to a CNET report, which asks, “Has TikTok Convinced You Have ADHD?”

As more people than ever are filling prescriptions for Adderall, the shortage is affecting millions of chronic ADHD patients. People without access to medicine are now wondering what happens next.

Until the shortage is resolved, an extended-release version of Adderall is available, according to the FDA, and is an option for patients, pending approval by a doctor.

If you are having trouble filling your prescription, ask your pharmacist or doctor about a suitable alternative.

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