Currently, the state of New York is experiencing a recent shortage of the ADHD medication Adderall. This Adderall shortage is actually something that is not exclusive to New York but has recently impacted many people nationwide.

Reports of the shortage started months ago and pharmacists are struggling to keep the drug or any of its generic versions on the shelves, which is complicating the lives of those who need it.

What is Adderall and What Does it Do?

Adderall is used for individuals who suffer from ADHD or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a mental disorder that commonly affects children and leaves them with an inability to focus, and hyperactivity which could lead to one acting impulsivly.

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Many medications exist for the treatment and management of ADHD, Adderall being one of the most popular. Adderall itself is a drug that is made up of a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These chemicals are integral to the body's central nervous system and help control the hyperactivity and impulse control associated with ADHD as well as aiding in the ability to focus.

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With this understanding, it is easy to see why the shortage of Adderall has become a big problem for so many people.

Where Did This Shortage Come From?

The Adderall shortage in New York and across the country started back in the fall of 2022. It was reported that in 2021 alone, 41 million prescriptions were written for people nationwide. Another factor affecting the availability or unavailability of Adderall is because of the increase in demand.

According to Michael Ganio the senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP),

All of our drug shortage infrastructure, and everything we have in place in this country to mitigate the impact of shortages is based on potential disruptions in supply...It’s been very unusual to have a shortage based on increase in demand.

 

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This as everything in regards to the purchasing or selling of goods is contingent on the delicate balance between supply and demand economics. This claim can also be stated through evidence as data was collected by health data company Trilliant Health which found that adults more than doubled their usage of Adderall from 2019 (7.4%) to 2020(15.1%). This also follows an increases in adult Adderall usage from previous years as well.

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Lastly, while no clear medical data exists yet to prove this correlation, many doctors have stated that the Covid-19 pandemic has played a role in the increase in usage of Adderall.

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Will the Shortage End Anytime Soon?

Back in October of 2022 the Food and Drug Administration formally announced the Adderall shortage, at the time citing "manufacturing issues." A certain amount of "red tape" is also getting in the way of making more Adderall because it is classified as a "controlled substance" and there is a history of people miss using the drug as intended.

Because of this, the FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration have to put limits on how many individual pills a single pharmacy can distribute. In addition, because of the controlled substance history, the DEA also must enforce limits on the ingredients used to make the drug each year.

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That this Adderall shortage will probably not be ending anytime soon. In the meantime, those who are affected by this shortage are going to have to try and manage as best as they can with substitutes that are available. Substitutes do not represent a perfect fix though, because each substitute drug can potentially have different side effects and affect those who take them differently.

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Efforts are being made currently to address the issue as a national problem, however, progress with the government is usually never a quick deal. Currently, the best case scenario for anyone that this shortage affects is to work with your doctors and pharmacists and see which available substitutes work the best and monitor possible side effects.

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