Adderall Shortgages

January 2, 2012 at 2:14 am Leave a comment


The Adderall shortage has affected me personally.  I had to switch my drug of choice for my autism from Adderall to Vyanse because of shortage. 

Nothing about the drug shortage makes me happy.  I remember that I was so livid when the drug store told me that I had pay $133.00 for the brand name Adderall.  I kept on going to the pharmacy and they did not have any.

They kept on stating that there was no shipments including the brand name.   I realized that I had to change my drugs.  I had to made to switch to Vyanse because Vyanse had a larger supply.

What I experienced is a nation-wide phenomenon,  Adderall is out in many location.  The New York Times reports

  Medicines to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are in such short supply that hundreds of patients complain daily to the Food and Drug Administration that they are unable to find a pharmacy with enough pills to fill their prescriptions.

The shortages are a result of a troubled partnership between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with companies trying to maximize their profits and drug enforcement agents trying to minimize abuse by people, many of them college students, who use the medications to get high or to stay up all night.

Caught in between are millions of children and adults who rely on the pills to help them stay focused and calm. Shortages, particularly of cheaper generics, have become so endemic that some patients say they worry almost constantly about availability


Reuters reports

“Our production facilities are currently running at maximum capacity for Adderall utilizing all available API,” said Teva’s Bradley. “The catalyst for the problem is the quota system, not the business.”

The DEA sets its aggregate quota at the beginning of each year, taking into account past quota levels, inventory levels and company sales forecasts. But the DEA’s assessment of what a company needs may not be the same as the company’s own estimates. It is an ongoing process of negotiation.

“DEA can come back and say, ‘we agree with your forecast and issue everything you want,’ or they may come back and say ‘we don’t think you need that much,’ and they give you 75 percent,” said Matt Cabrey, a spokesman for Shire.


The drug companies have no incentive to produce generic drugs because they is artificially low quota that limits the supply that they can make.  To maximize profits, the drug companies only make the brand name form because there is limited amount that they can supply and the drug companies need to minimum profits to offset expense and make a reasonable rate of return for investors.

I would place blame on both the DEA and the drug companies.  It is DEA that has the power to increase the quota and therefore, increase the supply of the Adderall.  Once the supply increase, you can sell the generics drugs because you can mass produce them and make a reasonable rate off the increased

In the case of Shire, I believe that Shire is trying to phase out Adderall for another drug called Vyanse which has a 14 hours duration for one tablet,  14 hours is longer than the 8 hours that Adderall XR   There is more incentive for Shire to sell the Vyanse than sell Adderall XR or short-release Adderall.  There less incentive to abuse Vyanse than to abuse short-release Adderall because the medication is time-released.

The interesting thing about Shire is that Shire charges $185.00 for Vyanse and $300+ for both Adderall XR in the generic and brand versions.  So Shire makes less money off Vyanse than it does on Addreall XR or short-release Adderall.

The reality is that Obama needs to go personally over to the DEA and tell them the leader of the DEA in a face-to-face meeting that the quota needs to go up.  The DEA does not respond to increase in drug quotas or legalization of drugs unless it is forced to by Congress or the President personally makes direct order to the DEA .   The solution is on Obama to deal with this problem,




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