Patients struggle to fill prescriptions as Adderall shortage continues

CHARLOTTE — A months-long Adderall shortage is affecting pharmacies and patients in our area.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this month that there is an increased demand for the prescription drug.

“We have patients who would get it mail ordered, routinely, and can’t get it that avenue anymore,” said Joe Moose, co-owner of Moose Pharmacy. “We have patients that say, ‘My pharmacy can’t get it.’”

Moose said there have been some scenarios where he ordered 10 bottles of Adderall and only two were delivered because of the shortage.

Numbers from health data company Trilliant Health show Adderall prescriptions for adults ages 22 to 44 went up more than 15% between spring 2020 and 2021.

That’s more than double the increase seen the year prior.

“I think the access has increased in telehealth and Covid came,” Moose said. “It brought along on telehealth so it’s easier for people to get appointments. It’s easier to get with a prescriber who would potentially prescribe this.”

If your pharmacy is out of stock, Moose said you should:

  • Ask your prescriber or pharmacist about potential alternatives
  • Reach out to other pharmacies to check their stock
  • Plan ahead if you see you’re getting low

The FDA said drug shortages happen for multiple reasons, which include manufacturing and quality problems, discontinuations, and delays.

Manufacturers provide most drug shortage information to the FDA and work closely with the agency to lower the impact of those shortages.

Resident Christine Echalar said her Adderall prescription was a helpful tool during her college years.

“Just for focusing when I was in school. Just to make sure that I was paying attention and getting all my work done,” Echalar said.

Echalar said she sporadically takes Adderall now but knows it’s affecting patients five months after the FDA announced a national shortage.

“I know a lot of my friends that are prescribed it having trouble with focusing on work and figuring out how to keep their lives on track and keep focused,” she said.

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