The Adderall shortage, which began in October of 2022,1 has continued to be a pressing issue affecting college students with ADHD across the country. Despite initial hopes of a swift resolution, the shortage has persisted longer than expected, causing significant distress and disruption to the lives of those who rely on this medication.
In this blog post, we delve into the ongoing Adderall shortage and discuss its impact on ADHD patients, including alternative solutions for affected members.
The prolonged Adderall shortage
The prolonged Adderall shortage has created significant challenges for individuals with ADHD. Many college students with ADHD rely on Adderall to help them stay focused and manage their workload effectively. Unfortunately, in some cases, this shortage has left them scrambling to find alternative solutions, disrupting their ability to concentrate and potentially hindering their academic success.2
This shortage is due largely to high demand, potential overprescribing, and lack of production.3 In August 2023, to help resolve the issue, the FDA and DEA urged manufacturers to increase production, as well as for physicians, payers, and other healthcare providers to closely monitor prescriptions for stimulants due to the “widespread misuse” and potential for addiction.4
“While efforts are being made to rectify the situation, it is important for patients to explore alternative medication solutions with their healthcare providers,” said Jennifer Stevens, VP of Healthcare Optimization at Wellfleet. “We’ll continue to maintain our processes that ensure student members can get the medications they need to help mitigate the impact on their lives.”
You may be wondering, “When will the Adderall shortage end?” Unfortunately, it is still unclear how long it will take for the supply and demand to balance out, but we are working diligently to ensure our students get the care they need in the meantime.
Seeking alternative medications
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to address the Adderall shortage and minimize the impact on patients, it is crucial for ADHD patients to explore options with their healthcare professionals, including alternative prescriptions that may provide similar benefits to Adderall.
Here are the steps Wellfleet Rx is taking to give our students the right care amid the Adderall shortage:
- Temporary extension of quantity limits on lower strengths of covered generics to allow pharmacies to give more units of lower-strength medications if higher-strength medications are unavailable.
- Offering case-by-case overrides to cover brand Adderall, Adderall XR, and Concerta if a pharmacy cannot access generic forms of the medications.
- Active monitoring of ADHD medication supply. If both brand and generic forms undergo shortage, we will provide access to clinically appropriate alternative treatments.
Read our info sheet to find out how Wellfleet is helping students impacted by the shortage, and learn more in our blog on how the Adderall shortage is affecting college students.
1 FDA. (2022, October 12). FDA announces shortage of Adderall. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-announces-shortage-adderall.
2 Sealy A., Tirrell, M. (2023, September 4). ADHD drug shortage stresses families during back-to-school season. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/04/health/adhd-drug-shortage-back-to-school/index.html
3 Siegel, M. (2023, September 5). Adderall shortage hurt my patient’s job performance. He was told to drink coffee instead. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2023/09/05/adderall-shortage-impact-adhd-patients-fda-alternative-medication/70717576007/.
4 Keenan, J. (2023, August 3). FDA, DEA urge production push to replenish supplies of prescription stimulants. Fierce Pharma. https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/fda-dea-urge-production-push-replenish-shortage-prescription-stimulants.