Widespread shortages of Adderall and other versions of the drug to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are deepening in the US, causing despair among patients who rely on the drug to focus.
The largest Adderall maker in the US, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., said last month that a labor shortage earlier in the year disrupted production, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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A Teva spokesman said at the time that the company expected retail shortages to be addressed in the coming weeks, but pharmacies are now reporting ADHD treatment shortages from a number of other drugmakers.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) this week reported shortages of several versions of the amphetamine from numerous manufacturers, as reports surface across the country of the impact that having low supplies is having on patients who can’t fill their prescriptions.
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“It scares people,” said Dr. Robert Shulman, psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center, opposite FOX 32 in Chicago. “It scares parents who have kids who are just starting school. It scares adults who depend on the medication to get them through the workday. Patients can’t get their medication and we get a lot of calls, so it’s so much extra work and patients have to go to pharmacies to see where they have supplies.”
Shulman said there are several factors contributing to the shortages, including record-high prescriptions for the drug following the COVID-19 lockdowns, a surge in recreational use of the stimulant, and manufacturing restrictions imposed by the federal government.
A spokesman for Sandoz, a Novartis company that makes a generic version of Adderall, told FOX Business Friday that there was no shortage of their product on the market and that the company was “fulfilling all current customer orders,” but citing regulatory ones Factors towards could contribute to the situation with the drug.
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The spokesperson explained that Sandoz, like other drugmakers, forecasts manufacturing based on customer pre-orders and has received approval from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to meet forecasted order levels. If, due to increased demand, a customer orders more than the drug manufacturers forecast, the manufacturers are unable to fulfill those orders and are considered “backordered”.
In this case, pharmaceutical companies must apply to the DEA for an increase in production volume. Some requests are granted, others denied. The DEA did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s request for comment on whether the agency recently raised or plans to raise the manufacturing limits for Adderall.
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When asked for comment by FOX Business, a spokesman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not confirm any shortages of Adderall-type drugs, but said in a statement that the agency “continues to monitor the supply of ADHD drugs and [is] in communication with manufacturers regarding delivery.”