(COLORADO SPRINGS) — In October, the FDA announced a shortage of Adderall due to companies like Teva having manufacturing delays. This shortage is still ongoing in February, with a growing demand for the medication and many not receiving refills in time.
“The problem with the market demand was that despite recovering from one manufacturer, there still wasn’t enough on the market,” said Senior Director of Pharmacy Practice and Quality for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Michael Ganio. “And this is where it gets really difficult as a shortage.”
Ganio said ASHP has been tracking the Adderall shortage for almost a year now and first noticed manufacturers unable to produce enough supply.
“So, manufacturers are saying that they don’t have enough production quota from the DEA to make product,” Ganio said. “The DEA is saying that there’s plenty of allocation quota out there to be used, so there shouldn’t be a problem with manufacturing. And then there’s not enough transparency in the supply chain from that manufacturer to the patient to know is their supply sitting somewhere.”
It is becoming a challenge for customers who are looking to refill their prescription at pharmacies and cannot be given their medication in time.
“They usually are not allowed to refill this product until within a few days of when it should be running out,” Ganio said. “But it’s something that we’re usually concerned about with shortages, particularly when there’s not enough supply to meet demand in an increase in demand situation.”
Christine Khan, Springs Behavioral Health Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, saw the impact of the Adderall shortage in Southern Colorado.
“But a couple of months ago, I really started noticing the shortage in the Springs that we kind of already knew about, that that was happening,” said Khan. “But we were able to get either name brand or generic. Now it started getting to the point you can’t get any dosage and strength on the brand or generic.”
A growing demand for this specific medication is causing manufacturers to struggle with production.
‘We’ve certainly seen an increase in in all age groups, but particularly younger adult populations who have been prescribed Adderall and the other medications in this class,” Ganio said.
Khan explained this shortage is impacting people who need the medication in performing daily tasks.
“So it’s gotten to be very, very disheartening, I feel like a lot of patients who are on stimulants and who need them to really function at their maximum are almost like… oh, it’s not as important because it’s just a stimulant,” Khan said. “But that’s not the case when they need it. I mean, it’s like insulin, you need it so you can provide for your family or learn and do those types of things.”
For patients who cannot receive their medication, Khan shared she is working on coping mechanisms, drinking caffeine, and planning ahead on when to take Adderall.
“Since we may find that you’re not going to have the full amount, taking days off is if you really need it for work or you really need it for school,” Khan said. “Maybe we need to look at not taking it on the weekends, just so that it will last longer and then, oddly enough, caffeine. I’ve really gone back towards the old school, like drink a little more caffeine and see if least hedge off a little bit and give you a little more focus.”
Ganio stated that people taking Adderall are probably aware of the medication shortage and to be prepared for a delay in medication.
“Try and check in advance and be patient,” Ganio said. “I understand this is extremely frustrating and a lot of patients require these medications for their livelihood. So, try to work with the providers and the pharmacists.”
CVS shared a statement to FOX21 on the Adderall shortage across the nation.
We’re aware of intermittent shortages of amphetamine in the supply chain and our pharmacists will work with patients who are prescribed this medication as needed. For more information about this industry-wide issue, please refer to the FDA’s announcement.CVS Pharmacy
The Adderall shortage is one of hundreds of drug shortages that ASHP is tracking.
“We’re currently tracking about 300 drug shortages in our database, and about 98% of them are probably related to quality in manufacturing,” Ganio said. “Where there’s some sort of process or equipment or something has broken down and the manufacturers are not able to produce as much as is needed.”
Khan shared her frustration towards the current situation and that she wants to help as much as she can but doesn’t know when the shortage will end.
“So I think there’s a lot of those concerns that I get asked daily, you know, where is it going to get better? Everything else, I usually can have answers for you, but there’s not an end in sight quite yet,” Khan said.