WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The nation's largest Adderall manufacturer is warning users of delays that could last through the end of the year.
The FDA confirmed a shortage of the drug earlier this month. In its announcement, the FDA reported the nation's biggest manufacturer is experiencing intermittent delays and other companies just don't have enough supply right now to meet demand.
Jenna Eccles, the pharmacy manager at Wheat Ridge Professional Pharmacy, spoke to 9NEWS about the ripple effect the shortage is having here in Colorado.
Note: Answers are edited for length and clarity.
9NEWS: What does Adderall treat?
Eccles: It treats ADHD and hyperactive disorders, and that ranges from childhood to adulthood. People don’t realize that adults, way past their 20s, are still on these medications and without it they even have trouble sleeping. You think something like an amphetamine or an Adderall would keep you from sleeping, but these patients can’t even focus to fall asleep, so it’s hard for people to understand that these patients are having trouble thinking. We’ve had some patients say even calling around to other pharmacies to access the prescription is difficult when they can’t focus.
How is Wheat Ridge Professional Pharmacy being impacted by this shortage?
Eccles: We’re at a point where we’re receiving a lot of cold calls from patients looking to see if we have medication in stock, to see if we could fill their medications. We really have to turn every one of those patients away, as we just want to make sure we have enough for current patients, so we’re not really taking on any other prescriptions from new patients.
How often is the pharmacy getting calls?
Eccles: We get calls every day, and at least in the last few weeks we’ve been getting up to 10 calls a day. Cold calls from patients looking around, and you know as soon as you answer that call what they’re looking for, so it’s becoming more of an issue.
Any idea when pharmacies should expect to be back in full supply?
Eccles: Sometimes within the wholesale process you’ll see that it’s not available. It’ll usually say manufacture issue, manufacture back order sometimes. If you’re lucky they might give you a date when they’re expecting to release more to the market, but for the most part I’m not seeing any release dates on any of these products.
At this point, we’re referring everyone back to their healthcare providers, because it’s now up to them to do a therapy change within that class.
Any advice for those struggling to find the medication right now?
Eccles: I would just warn people against trying to acquire the product outside of a pharmacy or online. I’ve been hearing you can buy products online that look exactly like the tablet they're usually getting. What’s happening is that people are making things that look like Adderall, but there’s fentanyl in it and no active product. People think they’re buying their active medication when they might be getting fentanyl instead. I would warn everybody trying to acquire those products from any source other than your pharmacy, and I’m just warning them because it is an issue.
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