A nationwide shortage of Adderall is beginning to impact the lives of students with ADHD, many of whom are acting out and falling behind academically, according to news reports.
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood, with an estimated 6.1 million U.S. children aged 2-17 diagnosed, as well as about 8.1 percent of adults aged 18-44. Sixty-two percent of those diagnosed take ADHD medication.
In addition to shortages of Adderall and its generics, there are shortages of SSRI sertraline, which treats obsessive compulsive disorder and PTSD, cancer medications, and even some common over-the-counter cold and flu medicines.
According to a report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security, drug shortages spiked at the close of 2022 when the number of active shortages reached 295.
The report blamed the shortage on an overreliance on foreign and geographically concentrated sources of critical drugs, pointing out that nearly 80 percent of manufacturing facilities that produce the active ingredients of drugs are located outside of the country, as foreign governments are more likely to offer tax incentives and have fewer regulations.