Did COVID-19 pandemic contribute to Adderall scarcity?

ByLouise McGinnis

Oct 14, 2022

Throughout the nation, stories have been surfacing of individuals having problem acquiring their prescription for Adderall, a drugs that may deal with ADHD.

Brad Mielke, the host of ABC Information’ “Begin Right here” podcast, who shared that he has an ADHD prognosis, stated he hasn’t been in a position to get his treatment at an area pharmacy.

The FDA confirmed on Wednesday a nationwide scarcity of the treatment. “Begin Right here” spoke with ABC Information’ Sony Saltzman concerning the potential causes and implications of the scarcity.

START HERE: Sony, how widespread has this scarcity grow to be?

SALZMAN: Yeah, thanks, Brad. You realize, now we have heard over the previous couple of weeks from in every single place from social media to native faculty boards, that individuals are having bother filling these Adderall prescriptions and now the FDA has come out formally to say certainly there’s a nationwide scarcity of Adderall.

We do not have arduous numbers on that, however we do comprehend it means some individuals are having bother once they present as much as the pharmacy, to get these prescriptions stuffed. And we simply heard from Teva, the biggest maker of Adderall in america. What they confirmed to us, it is really actually attention-grabbing. They are saying they’re making the identical quantity of Adderall this 12 months as they did final 12 months, however the demand has surged for the drug and that is one of many contributing components right here.

START HERE: I used to be gonna say, are you able to simply describe why there’s a scarcity proper now?

SALZMAN: Yeah, there’s numerous completely different causes for the scarcity. Now, one of many huge causes is similar motive that impacts the complete economic system. This pandemic has created labor shortages, there are provide chain points, all of that impacts the pharmaceutical trade, similar to each different trade proper. Now, that apart, there are extra constraints on Adderall.

PHOTO: Bottles of Adderall XR prescription pharmaceuticals photographed in a pharmacy in Remington, Va., Feb. 26, 2019.

Bottles of Adderall XR prescription prescription drugs photographed in a pharmacy in Remington, Va., Feb. 26, 2019.

Sipa USA by way of AP, FILE

Adderall is what’s thought of a Schedule II pharmaceutical; which means it has abuse potential, which means there are a ton of additional restrictions on it. There are caps on it, there’s numerous rules so you realize, it is not as simple as turning up a dial and spitting out extra Adderall, proper. Now one other consideration right here is that this demand piece and Teva Prescribed drugs touched on that; they are saying they’re seeing extra demand.

We all know that previously, you realize, decade or much more, an increasing number of individuals have been prescribed Adderall, usually appropriately. We do not have very particular information on what’s been taking place throughout the pandemic itself these final two and a half years, however we do know there’s been an explosion of tele-health providers. And perhaps there are another components at play that simply aren’t tremendous clear proper now.

START HERE: Oh, like if any individual’s sitting at dwelling with their child who has been on Zoom faculty abruptly they usually’re like, ‘wait that is worse than I assumed, perhaps Adderall or perhaps certainly one of these ADHD medication is the reply.’ Like that may be a part of the elevated demand as effectively?

SALZMAN: Yeah, doubtlessly. I imply, it is arduous to say however that might doubtlessly be it. We all know there’s additionally been an explosion in tele-health providers. So you realize it throughout the pandemic, some restrictions had been eased. You’ll be able to talk with a health care provider remotely. And we all know there are firms that cropped up throughout the pandemic that particularly catered to Consideration Deficit Dysfunction, and all of those circumstances and desirous to make it simpler for folk to get these prescriptions from dwelling.

START HERE: And the way impactful is that this Sony? As a result of I do know, in my life, like my palms are actually jittering, however from a much less biased perspective, on a macro stage, how huge of a deal is it if some People are just a bit bit extra flighty at work or like, cannot focus as effectively? Like, is that this an enormous deal? Past a couple of sufferers right here and there?

SALZMAN: Yeah, that is a extremely essential query, Brad. So we reached out to the American Psychiatric Affiliation and what they informed us I feel is actually essential context for individuals to listen to, is that this isn’t a life-or-death scenario. Though actually individuals who have ADHD may be uncomfortable in the event that they stopped taking this treatment, proper?

However actually, actually crucially, if you’re struggling to fill your prescription, what the American Psychiatric Affiliation tells us is that it’s worthwhile to name your physician. They are able to work with you to provide you with another remedy technique within the meantime to type of bridge the hole and crucially, a very powerful factor, by no means ever purchase a capsule from even a buddy or a member of the family as a result of we simply do not know the place that capsule got here from. And there are numerous counterfeit tablets in the marketplace and a few of these counterfeit tablets have fentanyl and different type of scary illicit stuff in them. So by no means purchase Adderall from anybody besides your pharmacist that you simply belief and know, a respectable pharmacist.

START HERE: So is that one of many ramifications right here, Sony, that if individuals cannot get the medication they’re used to then they attain out elsewhere and abruptly they’re on the black market and that is the place dangerous stuff begins taking place?

SALZMAN: Properly, that is actually a hypothetical concern and it is actually one thing that docs are getting out in entrance of and warning individuals to not do. If you cannot get your prescription, please don’t flip to an illegitimate supply to get your prescription that manner.

START HERE: Wow. Yeah, completely fascinating right here. Alright, Sony Salzman with ABC’s Medical Unit. Thanks a lot.

SALZMAN: Yeah. Thanks, Brad.