The ADHD medication shortage is getting worse. What went wrong?


As the nationwide Adderall shortage enters its fifth month. People who rely on the drug to help manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are finding few, if any. Options available. Pharmacy experts say there is still no sign of relief and no easy solution to the problem.

Widespread shortages have also hit Adderall alternatives.

As of January, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Which tracks drug availability, reported that shortages. Were affecting about 40 different dosages or generic formulations of Concerta. The long-acting form of methylphenidate, the drug for Ritalin.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which makes Vivance, also known as lisdexamfetamine, its generic. Says there is no shortage of the drug, but Vivance. Has been on intermittent backorder for months, according. To dozens of pharmacies reached by todaystrend News.

Michael Ganio, ASHP’s senior director of pharmacy practice and quality. Said an unexpected increase in demand is to blame. For more than equipment manufacturing or drug quality issues.

“All of our drug shortages are infrastructure, and everything we have in this country to mitigate. The impact of shortages is based on potential disruptions in supply,” Ganio said. “It’s very unusual to have a deficit based on demand growth.”

In recent years, ADHD drug prescriptions have increased. More than drug companies or government agencies predicted. According to health information company Trilliant Health. Adderall prescriptions for adults will increase 15.1% through 2020, double the 7.4% increase the year before.

In October, the Food and Drug Administration declared a national shortage of Adderall. Aiting “ongoing intermittent production delays.”

Dr. Sarah Cheat started switching patients. To alternative ADHD medications such as Focalin, Vyvanse, Concerta. And Ritalin when she learned that pharmacies were out of Adderall late last year. Alternative medications aren’t always effective. But for many patients, switching prescriptions made more sense. Than going without ADHD medication altogether.

The ADHD medication shortage is getting worse. What went wrong?

“There’s a spillover from people who don’t take Adderall and turn to other drugs,” says Cheet. Apediatric neurologist who treats both children and adults with ADHD at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “And it’s getting worse.”

Some drug companies now say the supply problem could last well into the spring. Alvogen, which makes generic Adderall, expects the shortage to last until mid-April. According to the FDA’s database. Teva Pharmaceuticals. The nation’s largest supplier of Adderall, reports that problems.

With some of its Adderall dosages, particularly. The more expensive brand-name versions of its fast-acting tablets. Have now been resolved but listed recovery dates for others as TBD (to be determined).

Most ADHD medications fall into a class of controlled substances called. Central nervous system stimulants. Because the drug has a well-documented history of abuse and addiction. The FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration limit how many pills.

A pharmacy can dispense at one time shortage and how often patients can refill their prescriptions. The DEA also sets limits each year. On the active ingredients that pharmaceutical companies use to make these drugs

“The DEA gets involved when a manufacturer tries to increase production,” Ganio said. The DEA calculates how much of a given drug ingredient is needed to meet demand, then allocates that specific amount. According to Ganio, the problem is how. The DEA uses historical data — meaning prescription numbers from previous years — to set these amounts.

Demand forecasts based on historical data cannot predict the. Sharp increase in ADHD diagnoses during the pandemic, Ganio said. Now there is a mismatch between DEA quotas and prescription numbers.

The quotas are problematic for companies like Novartis-owned Sandoz. Which makes generic Adderall and Concerta.

“Starting in mid-2022, we found that when a customer ordered more from us than they forecast. We were unable to fulfill those orders,” Leslie Pott, a Sandoz spokeswoman, told todaystrendnews News in an email. “We have applied to the DEA to increase the volume.

Some requests have been accepted and some have been denied.” According to Pott, these customers range from hospitals. And institutions to retail pharmacies, specialty pharmacies and wholesalers.

Ganio said the DEA is often willing to increase quotas if there is legitimate patient demand. But it’s hard shortage to measure demand growth when it’s happening. There is no real-time integrated system to track ADHD diagnoses on a national level like Covid or the flu.

“Making more drugs is not as simple as flipping a switch,” Ganio said. “FDA and DEA See More Demand, But How Much More?”

Doctors also cannot cite exact numbers, but many say they have noticed a clear increase. In patients seeking ADHD treatment since the pandemic lockdown began.

“Like many crises, many factors converged to create a perfect storm,” said Chait, who

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