Popular ADHD drug Adderall is running low nationwide after a pandemic-era surge in demand and a labor shortage at the top manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA), Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing pharmacy retailers CVS (CVS) Health and Walgreens (WBA).
A drug combo consisting of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine salts, Adderall is used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“There are supply chain challenges with this drug,” WBA spokesperson Rebekah Pajak said, adding that the shortage has affected both the immediate-release and extended-release versions of Adderall.
Meanwhile, CVS (CVS) spokesperson Matthew Blanchette noted that its pharmacies could fill Adderall prescriptions “in most cases.”
However, Bloomberg pointed to responses from half a dozen patients from states including California, Indiana, and Michigan, who were told that the drug was out of stock at CVS (CVS) and WBA (WBA) locations in August or September.
The issues began in August when a labor shortage at the leading Adderall manufacturer TEVA limited the supplies of branded and generic forms of instant-release Adderall.
Immediately afterward, TEVA and three other Adderall makers, including Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMRX) and Sandoz unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG (NVS) (OTCPK:NVSEF), had generic extended-release Adderall on backorder.
The shortage comes amid a surge in demand for Adderall after a rise in ADHD diagnoses. During the pandemic, the federal government made Adderall prescriptions more accessible to patients through telehealth visits leading to a growth of online startups such as Cerebral Inc. and Done Health.
In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Trade Commission had initiated an investigation into Cerebral over its promotional practices related to mental health services.