INDIANAPOLIS – A nationwide shortage of a medication used to help treat ADHD and ADD is impacting thousands of Hoosiers and pharmacies across Indiana.
The Federal Drug Administration says the main manufacturer of Adderall has cited manufacturing delays, supply chain issues and labor shortages that have contributed to the shortage of the drug. While other companies also produce the medication, none have been able to keep up with the demand.
Experts at Butler University said the demand for the medication has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.
“It’s likely due to the fact many people are returning to work in person, returning to the office, returning to school that we are seeing an increase in the demand of it,” said Veronica Vernon, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Butler University. “We’ve been home for two years, some of us have in some industries, and so now heading back into the workplace or changing jobs, or maybe working from home where you need to maybe have some more ability to focus, that could definitely lead to an increase in demand for the medication.”
Vernon said the drug shortage can have a huge impact on people who rely on it.
“This is impacting millions of Americans,” she said. “This is not just something small, something isolated. This is impacting individuals across the country. This can interfere with productivity at work, productivity at school. This could be 30 to 60 days you may have shortages of Adderall, or this could extend into the early part of the new year.”
Experts agree this shortage can be even more challenging during such an especially busy time of year.
“That’s really concerning as we’re thinking about trying to get through the end of the year,” Vernon said. “This can be a really busy time. We have finals for some of our students who are in school and finishing up the semester or the end of the quarter. At work trying to get everything done before the end of the year, and so this can be a really stressful time for individuals that don’t have a necessary medication that can help them get their task done that I need to.”
Adderall is not the only medication in short supply right now. Vernon said pharmacies are also experiencing a shortage of a drug called Amoxicillin, which is used to treat a number of bacterial infections.
While there are alternatives Amoxicillin, Vernon said the shortage of Adderall creates much more difficult challenges.
“The problem with the Adderall shortage, unlike some other drug shortages that we’ve been experiencing, is that there aren’t a lot of good alternatives,” she said. “And there’s not a lot of other medications we can turn to.”
Experts like Vernon say it is very important you speak with your healthcare provider if you are in need of the medication.
“I highly recommend that individuals talk to their healthcare provider who is responsible for prescribing the Adderall, and their pharmacist to determine what are some other strategies they can use to make the most out of the supply they currently have,” Vernon said.
Experts do not recommend rationing your medication without speaking to your healthcare provider first. They say this can create other challenges if you are used to a higher dose.