MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Labor shortages at Teva Pharmaceuticals have made Adderall, a widely used attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, hard to find in some drugstores.
But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that there’s no overall shortage of ADHD medications.
Only Teva is reporting supply problems, FDA spokeswomen Cherie Duvall-Jones told NBC News.
“Teva Pharmaceuticals, the maker for Adderall tablets, is reporting expected delays for the next 2-3 months,” she said.
Teva attributes the delay to a labor shortage on its packaging line, which it said has been resolved. The company added that while some pharmacies may have back-orders, it should be temporary.
“We expect full recovery for all inventory and orders in the coming weeks, at which point we expect no disruption at the pharmacy level,” spokeswoman Kelley Dougherty said in a statement, NBC News reported.
Large pharmacy chains have not seen a widespread problem: CVS said its locations were “not experiencing supply issues for Adderall and are able to fill prescriptions as received in most cases,” while Walgreens said its “current supply is meeting our patient needs at this time,” NBC News reported.
But small pharmacies are experiencing shortages: A National Community Pharmacists Association survey conducted from July 25 through Aug. 5 found that of about 360 independent drugstores, 64% had difficulty getting Adderall.
Byron Olson owner of Roger’s Family Pharmacy in Yankton, S.D., told NBC News that some forms of the drug have been harder to get than others.
“It’s often that they’re not out entirely,” he said, explaining that patients who take 20 milligrams (mg) twice a day, for example, might have to use alternative dosages. In some cases, patients might have to switch to another medication, he noted.
“It can be frustrating for patients because they don’t know about the shortages,” Olson said.
At Killingworth Family Pharmacy in Killingworth, Conn., owner Keith Lyke told NBC News that he has been getting patients from other drugstores who have been unable to fill their Adderall prescriptions. But generic forms from other makers have been easy enough to get, he said.
“We tell them it’s a different company, so it may look different,” he explained.
Dr. David Goodman, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, advised patients who take Adderall to anticipate difficulty with their prescription refills and to work with their doctors and pharmacies to get alternatives.
“It’s unpredictable. We can be sailing along fine and then we run into a shortage,” he told NBC News.
In the worst-case scenario — a patient who can’t get any medication — usually the shortage doesn’t last long.
“Usually it’s a matter of a few days or within a week,” he said.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on ADHD.