The Cooking Cardiologist



Frustration Grows as ADHD Drug Shortage Persists

Frustration Grows. Have you heard about the ongoing headache with ADHD meds? It’s been over a year since the FDA announced there’s a major shortage of Adderall, and folks are still struggling to get their hands on their meds. Doctors and patients alike are feeling the heat, and the situation isn’t getting any better.

Wendy’s Story

Take Wendy Steele, for example. She’s from Baltimore, and for the past year, she’s been having a real tough time finding pharmacies that actually have ADHD meds in stock. Both she and her 9-year-old son, Colton, rely on these meds, but they’ve had to deal with skipping doses or even going without them for weeks at a time. Wendy’s taking a generic version of Adderall, while Colton’s on a generic version of Concerta. It’s not just frustrating—it’s impacting Colton’s schoolwork, which breaks Wendy’s heart.

The Big Picture

ADHD is super common, affecting over 6 million kids in the U.S., according to the CDC. But it’s not just a kid thing—lots of adults have it too. People with ADHD can struggle to concentrate, act impulsively, and seem restless. That’s where meds like Adderall come in—they help folks with ADHD focus and control those impulsive behaviors.

Why the Shortage?

So, what’s causing this mess? Well, it’s a mix of high demand and some claims from drugmakers that they’re being held back from making as much medication as they need to. This combo has led to a nationwide shortage, leaving folks like Wendy and Colton in a tough spot.

Timeline of the Shortage

The shortage started making headlines back in October 2022, when the FDA announced the Adderall shortage. Since then, other ADHD meds like Focalin, Ritalin, and Vyvanse have also become hard to find.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes, there are over 100 companies in the U.S. making ADHD drugs. But even with all these players in the game, the shortage is still dragging on. Drugmakers have been trying to estimate when they’ll get back on track, but those estimates keep getting pushed back as they struggle to keep up with demand.

Dr. Adler’s Take

Dr. Lenard Adler from NYU Langone Medical Center knows firsthand the impact of this shortage. He says about a third to nearly half of the prescriptions he writes for ADHD meds end up being rewritten because the pharmacies don’t have them in stock. This means extra hassle for patients and more work for doctors. Plus, when patients go without their meds, their symptoms can flare up, making it tough for them to even remember to follow up with their doctor.

The Bottom Line

Overall, this shortage is a huge pain for anyone dealing with ADHD. Finding alternative meds isn’t always easy, and it can end up costing patients more money if they can’t get a generic version. Let’s hope things start looking up soon for folks like Wendy and Colton who just want to get their meds and get on with their lives.