INDIANAPOLIS – Prescription drug shortages increased by 30 percent last year, according to Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the increase is affecting Hoosiers.
“We’re seeing this happen more and more often,” said Dr. Brian Skinner, Marian University Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine.
A well-known ADHD medication, Adderall, is just one of the many medications patients are struggling to find.
“The number of prescriptions for these products is outpacing the number of drug supply chain in the United States,” said Butler University Asst. Professor of Pharmacy Practice Dr. Veronica Vernon.
Another hard-to-get medication is called Ozempic, a diabetes drug. The same medication, Semaglutide, is also used for weight loss.
“Some of them are having to switch prescriptions, so going from one stimulant to another, this causes a whole other issue in this drug chain, as now another drug is going to have a shortage,” said Skinner.
Prescribers are having to get creative on a weekly basis.
“Are there different dosing options? If one is taking 20 milligrams is there the ability to substitute two 10 milligrams?” said psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Whiteman.
It’s causing health issues for some.
“In terms of taking Ozempic and Semaglutide, this can lead to uncontrolled blood sugars and lead to serious health concerns if they are not able to get the right treatments,” said Vernon.
Vernon said the Adderall shortage doesn’t appear to have a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Because we seem to get updates every month that say ‘okay, next month it is going to be resolved’ and it continues to be a problem,” Vernon said.
But, Semaglutide could be more prevalent in just a few months.
“We think the summer that should start to be resolved as the company is putting all of its efforts into ramping up supply,” said Vernon.