The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged this week that there is a nationwide shortage of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall, confirming earlier warnings from manufacturers, pharmacists and patients.
The largest Adderall manufacturer in the U.S., Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Ltd., said last month that a labor shortage from earlier in the year caused production disruptions, but the company expected any shortages at the retail level to be worked out in a matter of weeks.
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But since then, the shortages have spread to other drug companies that manufacture generic versions of the treatment as desperate patients seek alternatives, and there are signs that the situation could worsen further.
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The FDA said in its press release Wednesday that Teva “is experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays,” indicating that the disruptions from earlier in the year have not yet been resolved.
Last week, an FDA spokesperson told FOX News Digital that the agency was in contact with manufacturers of Adderall-type drugs and monitoring supplies, but stopped short of declaring a shortage.
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Experts say there are several factors contributing to the shortages, including record-high prescriptions for the amphetamine mixed salts following COVID-19 lockdowns, a surge in recreational use of the stimulant and limits put in place by the federal government that prohibit manufacturers from ramping up production when supplies are low.
Despite pleas from patients who rely on the medication to focus but are unable to fill their prescriptions, federal regulators appear hesitant to allow drug-makers to ramp up production to meet demand.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which regulates production quotas on controlled substances, told the Wall Street Journal there is no plan to raise manufacturing limits on ADHD medications next year. The agency cited concerns over young adults abusing the drugs.
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