Adderall Shortage Leaves Patients Scrambling as FDA Finally Confirms Issue – 2 Months Late
The FDA has finally confirmed a shortage of ADHD drug Adderall. The only problem is that the shortage has been
The FDA has finally confirmed a shortage of ADHD drug Adderall.
The only problem is that the shortage has been noted for nearly two months as both pharmacies and patients have reported significant difficulty getting their prescriptions filled. And there's no good news on the immediate horizon.
FDA Confirms Shortage
FDA confirms shortage of Adderall, with delays possible until end of year https://t.co/qgepXOENvf— UPS Magazine (@upsmagcom) October 17, 2022
Last week, the FDA finally confirmed that there is in fact a shortage of Adderall.
In a statement, the FDA said of the issue, "We will continue to monitor supply and assist manufacturers with anything needed to resolve the shortage and will update our website with new supply information as it becomes available."
The manufacturer responsible for more than half of the nation's Adderall supply, Teva Pharmaceuticals, says that they expect the shortage to stretch throughout the end of the year. A labor shortage led to issues on the packaging side, but they are slowly catching up.
Unfortunately, "slowly catching up" doesn't help patients who are unable to fill their prescriptions now. The shortage is only affecting immediate-release medication.
Adderall is an amphetamine salt drug used to treat Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and it can be absolutely vital to the success of people with this disorder. At this time of year, high school kids are trying to sit for their SATs – a task made nearly impossible without the medication they need.
The FDA recommends patients work closely with their providers to come up with the best treatment plan with the shortage in mind, a plan which may include switching to the extended-release form of the medication.
But not only is it causing deficits in attention in the workplace and school, but the medication itself causes physical dependence which can cause unpleasant symptoms in patients forced to unnecessarily stop suddenly – an issue which the FDA was glacially slow to even address.
Pharmacies and patients first reported the shortages 2 months ago, and the FDA only half-heartedly confirmed the shortage last week.
Drug Shortages Create Patient and Provider Headaches, and There’s No Easy Solutions
we are currently experiencing a shortage of: heparin flushes, saline flushes, port needles, lab tubes, certain formula brands, IV start kits, and sterile gloves. you know, essentials.— Lindsay, RN (she/her) (@pediradnurse) January 1, 2022
This is not the only drug shortage that has made headlines in recent years.
In the past 5 years, hurricanes, labor shortages and difficulties procuring ingredients have led to shortages in vital medication and medical supplies such as sterile saline solution, Morphine, Dilaudid, Heparin flushes, local anesthetics such as Lidocaine, Oxytocin (used in childbirth both to induce labor and prevent or treat hemorrhage) and more.
Because the causes are so varied, there's no one-size-fits-all solution except to perhaps expand the manufacturers which US suppliers are allowed to contract with.
When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, it shut down factories. But what most people across the US didn't realize at the time was that Puerto Rico is a major supplier of a number of drugs and medical necessities, including the bags in which saline solution is administered via IV.
After months of rationing and panic over the shortages, the FDA allowed Irish manufacturers to ship in products which helped until factories in Puerto Rico got back on their feet.
It was a wake-up call that the supply lines for some of our country's most vital medical treatments is woefully vulnerable. And when it comes to things like Adderall shortages, it's a grim reminder that the FDA moves slowly, and patients suffer.