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How the country's Adderall shortage has impacted the Northwoods

Since the FDA’s October 2022 announcement, the drug Adderall has been in a nationwide shortage.

In the Northwoods, that means that patients have had a difficult time filling their prescriptions.

Adderall is a commonly prescribed drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and narcolepsy.

For almost two years now, the nation has been in a shortage.

However, in the Northwoods, that scarcity was felt more severely last year.

David Schiek is a pharmacist at Rhinelander Hometown Pharmacy.

“It was more of happening last year, it's kind of been straightened out with that product,” he said.

“The stock is available. It seems like they've beefed up that inventory somewhat in our warehouses,” he explained.

That means that patients can pick up their prescriptions at their normal home pharmacies and no longer bounce from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for someone who can fill their prescriptions.

Schiek says that that juggling act can lead to potential abuse.

“Usually prescribers and, and pharmacies like to have their patients that are picking up these type of prescriptions at one pharmacy. We don't like people jumping around to different pharmacies or pharmacy hopping just because they are controlled substances,” he said.

The country’s Adderall shortage has deeply impacted those who depend on it.

Schiek said that one patient told him that she lost her job because her ADHD was so uncontrolled that she couldn’t focus on her daily tasks.

“She wasn't able to get it. She was actually checking with other pharmacies who didn't have it either. Couldn't get it,” he said.

Some manufacturers have left the industry and remaining producers haven’t been able to keep up with mounting demand.

Recently, drug shortages in general have been an issue around the United States.

Between 2021 and 2022, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found that the number of new drug shortages rose by 30%.

Last September, only six manufacturers had Adderall in stock, but now, theFDA reports that 10 manufacturers have it available or available on limited supply.

National supply should get even better after September, when another major manufacturer predicts they’ll have stock available again after a shortage of an active ingredient.

Last week, the CDC released an advisory that several stimulant medication shortages are still in effect and leading to threats associated with illegal drug trade as patients struggle for access.

Hannah Davis-Reid is a WXPR Reporter.
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