COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— In Oct. of 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a nationwide Adderall shortage was impacting pharmacies everywhere. They believed the shortage would not carry over into 2022. However, one local pharmacist says it is still going on.
Adderall is used to aid individuals diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, narcolepsy, and sometimes depression. With the nationwide shortage, patients are left untreated, and wondering when their medication will be back in stock.
About six million U.S. children between the ages of three and 17 have been diagnosed as having ADHD. 62% take some sort of medication to help them focus.
The neurological disorders can manifest in difficulty with following instruction, staying on task, forgetfulness, among other attention-related activities.
“When you have ADD or ADHD, you’re not able to concentrate on what’s going on. You really can’t. You see something beyond the subject you’re talking about,” Pharmacist and Owner of Dinglewood Pharmacy Terry Hurley said.
Hurley says his pharmacy has noticed an increase in demand for Adderall.
“We are getting about a call every 20 minutes for people we don’t know. If we look at the phone, they’re usually from wireless contacts. I’ve never had a physician call me and asked me if I had something in stock,” Hurley said.
The FDA says from 2020 to 2021, the U.S. saw nearly a 20% increase in prescriptions for the class two narcotic. Pharmacists explain one reason for the increase in demand are the laws surrounding getting a prescription. Prior to the pandemic, a law called the Ryan Haight Act required medical professionals to see the patient before prescribing any controlled substance. During the pandemic, this law was temporarily lifted allowing controlled substances to be prescribed to patients through telehealth. Now, pharmacies and patients continue to feel its impact.
“We’ve been in this location for 104 years. We service a neighborhood, and we know most of our customers. We don’t shun new people, but we have a good deal of our customers who require the drug,” Hurley informed. “So, we allocate it to them, quite honestly. You need to establish a relationship with a doctor or with your own pharmacist to decide how often it’s dispensed and how you can get it.”
The FDA says estimated recoveries for these supply chain issues range from March to mid-April depending on the manufacturing company.