(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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which said in a statement “there is not sufficient supply to continue to meet U.S. market demand.”
Teva, the most prolific generic producer of the drug, said it has experienced ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays. The company expects the supply problems to last through March, according to an October Bloomberg report.
A rise in demand for the drug is also to blame for the shortage, according to a report from Axios citing pharmaceutical research firm IQVIA figures showing skyrocketing total Adderall prescriptions in the U.S.
In 2021, Adderall, both generic and branded, was prescribed 41.4 million times in the U.S. This is up more than 10% from 2020, according to IQVIA.
Reports from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suggest an ADHD diagnosis, and therefore an Adderall prescription, became easier to obtain and more popular during the pandemic.
ADHD services are becoming readily available online in response to a growing awareness of mental health and an increasing demand for telehealth.
Some online services diagnosed people with ADHD remotely, after a 30-minute video call, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report states this is much faster than a typical diagnosis from an in-person psychiatrist.
Online tools have made obtaining an ADHD diagnosis a lot easier and perhaps too easy, according to a CNET report, which asks, “Does TikTok have you convinced that you have ADHD?”
As more people than ever are filling prescriptions for Adderall, the shortage is impacting millions of longtime ADHD patients. Those without access to the medication are now wondering what comes next.
Until the shortage is relieved, an extended-release version of Adderall is available, according to the FDA, and is an alternative for patients, pending approval by a doctor.
If you’re having a hard time filling your prescription, ask your pharmacist or doctor about a suitable substitute.