The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (2023)

Millions of people are scrambling to navigate a byzantine Adderall shortage in a saga that has investors in Teva stock and other drug firms wondering if the industry can dig itself out of this new pit.


Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) is the biggest distributor of both generic and branded forms of Adderall, a popular stimulant that treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Other big names include Novartis (NVS), Lannett (LCI), Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (MNK) and Takeda Pharmaceutical (TAK). In theory, these companies should be in a good spot with Adderall prescriptions in the U.S. soaring 27% from 2019 to 2022, according to Iqvia, a clinical analytics company.

Experts trace the demand increase to two paradigm shifts. The pandemic stretched people's coping mechanisms to a breaking point, highlighting existing — but previously undiagnosed — cases of ADHD. In response, the Drug Enforcement Administration relaxed its rules, allowing substances prone to abuse, like Adderall, to be prescribed via telemedicine.

But this newfound demand has left people like Danielle Payton without the medicine that has helped manage the symptoms of her ADHD since she was a teenager. Payton, a 32-year-old publicist living in Miami, says she recently called 16 pharmacies within driving distance of her home. None had Vyvanse, a medication similar to Adderall. And, of course, no Adderall either.

"It's basically a phone tag game seeing who will take the call and who has the medicine," she told Investor's Business Daily. "I can't work, I can't concentrate, I can't be on hold one more time. I can't speak to another pharmacist who says no. My attention span is at zero."

Teva Stock: What We Know About The Adderall Shortage

The Adderall shortage is particularly bad news for Teva stock as the company is trying to expand its lead as the market grows to what's projected to be a nearly $29 billion market by 2031, according to research firm Expert Market Research.

Meanwhile, Teva could use the revenue as it contends with a steep, five-year sales decline caused by overall weakness elsewhere in the generic drug market. Teva stock — and generic drug stocks in general — have fallen since 2015 due to that weakness.

There's a lot of finger-pointing in the Adderall shortage, and much is still unclear.

The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (1)

Part of the problem stems from the fact that Adderall and its generics, known as mixed amphetamine salts, are classified as controlled substances.

This means the DEA views them in the same category as highly addictive drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl. So, every step of manufacturing, distributing and prescribing Adderall remains tightly regulated on the federal level.

Shortage Since October

The FDA announced the Adderall shortage in October. As of early March, a handful of drugmakers still reported shortages. Teva notes it's experiencing "unprecedented demand."

Alvogen also reported an increase in demand. Epic Pharma says it's having a hard time getting ahold of the active ingredient to make Adderall.

Investor's Business Daily contacted seven manufacturers of Adderall. None responded. But several company spokespeople told Bloomberg last year that the DEA limits how much Adderall each company can make in a month. The DEA hasn't raised those limits to keep up with demand, they said.

(Video) Why is there an Adderall shortage? When will it end?

But the DEA says the companies didn't fully hit those limits in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

"Based on this trend, DEA has not implemented an increase to the (aggregate production quotas) for amphetamine at this time," the agency said in a December statement.

Other ADHD Medications Are Hard To Find

Duane Gordon, president of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association and an ADHD patient himself, says the supply chain issues will likely persist for some time, only making the Adderall shortage trickier.

"It all fell apart during the pandemic," he said. "And we're still struggling to put it back together."

That does little to soothe the frustration for patients like Jodie Porteous. Porteous is a 28-year-old social media influencer living in London. She was diagnosed with ADHD in November and given a prescription for Concerta, an Adderall-like stimulant used to treat the condition.

"From day one of taking it, I did find I noticed a difference," she told IBD. "It was almost like having blurry vision your whole life and putting on glasses for the first time. It had a significant impact for me from the word go."

The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (2)

But Porteous' diagnosis came at an inopportune time. Like the U.S. Adderall shortage, ADHD medication is becoming hard to find in the U.K.

Porteous describes a monthly "nightmare," not knowing whether she will be able to find her prescription. A pharmacist can't simply swap in another medicine or dosage. So, if her 54-milligram dose of Concerta isn't available, Porteous must get a new prescription from her doctor.

Other Drug Shortages

And it's not a simple matter of transitioning from one medicine to another, says Gordon. It can take weeks or months to find the right medicine and dosage. Porteous can attest to that. It took her four months to find the right Concerta dose.

"It's not as easy to switch medications as we would think," Gordon said. "That's going to have a big impact."

Although the FDA doesn't list Concerta or Ritalin as being in shortage, the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists lists both Concerta and Ritalin as being in short supply as of late February. Gordon takes Ritalin to control his ADHD, though he hasn't had trouble finding it in Canada.

A Big Potential Market For Teva Stock, Others

There's a lot of money, potentially, to be made in the burgeoning ADHD treatment market. Investors in Teva stock and generic drug stocks are likely watching the Adderall shortage unfold with interest.

Expert Market Research says the global Adderall market was worth $20.1 billion in 2022 and will reach $28.6 billion by 2031. Grand View Research says the U.S.ADHD treatment market was worth $13.2 billion last year and will hit almost $14 billion this year on its way to $18.7 billion by 2030.

The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (3)But secrecy surrounds Adderall sales. Most companies don't break out their sales of Adderall or disclose their prices. The National Average Drug Acquisition Cost shows how much pharmacies pay for medications in the U.S. The publicly available database shows prices ranging from 26-70 cents per pill of generic Adderall.

(Video) Adderall Shortage 2022 Doctor Shows You How to Get Your Medication ASAP!

In 2021, the latest year for which there are data, almost 1.9 billion branded and generic Adderall pillswere distributed in the U.S., according to Symphony Health. Teva distributed most of those, at 565 million. At the lowest generic price of 26 cents a pill, that would come to $146.9 million in sales. That doesn't account for the cut drug wholesalers would take of that 26 cents, however. And that's only U.S. sales.

Teva Stock: Sales Likely Higher

Teva's sales are likely higher than that, though, says Joey Mattingly, an associate professor and vice chair for research at the University of Utah's Department of Pharmacotherapy. Brand-name Adderall costs more per pill than its generic counterparts.

Publicly available data shows Veterans Affairs pays $2.61 a pill for the extended-release version of Adderall from Takeda. The agency pays $5.81 per pill for the immediate-release formula from Teva.

"The branded cost is a magnitude higher," Mattingly said in an interview, "15 to 20 times higher."

In December 2022, brand-name Adderall accounted for 17% of prescriptions, according to Iqvia. If that percentage is consistent at Teva, about 96 million of the pills Teva dispensed in 2021 were for the branded version of Adderall, with the remainder being generic. That would come out to nearly $680 million in sales.

Teva Acknowledges Scrutiny InAdderall Shortage

That Adderall sales estimate is a drop in the bucket for Teva. The company reported $15.9 billion in 2021 sales and pulled in $14.9 billion in sales last year.

But the shortage is another hit for already-depressed Teva stock and generic drug stocks. Shares of the Medical-Generic Drugs industry group have dropped off steadily since 2015. The 20-company group ranks a weak No. 158 out of 197 groups IBD tracks in six-month price performance. By market cap, Teva is the third-biggest company, trailing Haleon (HLN) and Viatris (VTRS). The industry group has a low IBD Digital Relative Strength Rating of 22, putting it in the lowest 22% of all groups in terms of 12-month performance.

Teva noted the difficulty of supplying the ADHD market — without mentioning the Adderall shortage — in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in February.

The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (4)

"Prescription drug abuse and the diversion of opioids and other controlled substances are the frequent subject of public attention, including, for example, recent media reports over the appropriateness of prescription of medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," the company said.

Telemedicine In Diagnosis

The scrutiny certainly hasn't helped Teva stock. Other companies like Covid-era telemedicine startups Cerebral and Done are also under a microscope. The companies cropped up at the height of the pandemic to help manage an influx of patients experiencing new or worsening mental health conditions.

In an emailed statement to IBD, Cerebral said a typical intake appointment is 30 minutes long. The company encourages clinicians to "schedule as many follow-up appointments as they feel clinically appropriate before any diagnosis, prescription or referral."

An ADHD diagnosis cannot take place in such a short window, clinical pharmacist Reema Hammoud said in an interview. Hammoud works for Sedgwick, a third-party claims provider.

"The majority of their sessions are 15-30 minutes and after that they give a diagnosis of ADHD," she said. "I think we are rushing to diagnose (ADHD) in some cases."

Adderall Shortage And The Telemedicine Spike

When Gordon, president of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, received his ADHD diagnosis, it involved two four-hour visits with a doctor. He recalled going through a "battery of tests" to rule out some 20 other disorders whose symptoms can mimic ADHD.

(Video) Nationwide Adderall shortage persists

Dr. Jacques Jospitre, a board-certified psychiatrist with SohoMD, says depression, bipolar disorder and even a vitamin deficiency can look like ADHD. It takes time to rule out those conditions before settling on ADHD as the culprit.

But the Adderall shortage showcases another challenge in the health care system.

The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (5)"When you look at the business model, they make more profit by seeing more patients and by getting more prescriptions done," Jospitre told IBD. "Because they have made that process more frictionless, they have helped to accelerate the growth and dispensing of medications, including stimulants."

It's a highly profitable business model, he says.

It's also prone to abuse, says Hammoud, the pharmacist. Adderall remains a recreational drug for its dopamine-increasing properties. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes the risk of death due to stimulant overdose increased 317% from 2013 to 2019.

Meanwhile, telemedicine companies will soon have to contend with new DEA regulations when the Covid-related public health emergency expires in May. By the end of the year, telemedicine providers will no longer be able to prescribe Adderall or other stimulants without first involving an in-person provider.

Ahead of that, Cerebral says it has ceased prescribing controlled substances to new patients. Existing patients either weaned off Adderall or switched to in-person providers. Representatives of telemedicine startup Done didn't respond to a request for comment.

Regulations Will Tighten When Covid Emergency Ends

Despite the scrutiny, experts see a place for telemedicine in ADHD treatment.

There's an ease of access and comfort for people dealing with mental health concerns, Hammoud says.

"Because there was a stigma associated with behavioral health, a lot of people don't reach out," she said. "Secondly, there is a shortage of behavioral health physicians, especially in rural areas. Even if a patient wants to seek out help, I don't think it's available in every area."

The Cracks Are Starting To Show In The Adderall Shortage (6)

That's another challenge soon facing ADHD patients amid the Adderall shortage. If they were receiving treatment and prescriptions solely via telemedicine, they will soon need to find an in-person provider. Doctors' offices already have jammed backlogs of people waiting for appointments.

Jospitre, the psychiatrist, expects a bit of a messy transition from the telemedicine prescription model.

"It's challenging because if you're a telehealth provider, your patients are dispersed all over the state," he said. "Everyone is within some distance of the office. There will be a reshuffling of patients. It's going to be kind of a mess in terms of getting things back in order."

He added: "But I think we'll figure it out."

(Video) Adderall Shortage: What to do if you can't find ADD, ADHD medicine

Gordon, the ADDA president, favors a conservative approach to ADHD diagnoses. But, he acknowledges getting an ADHD diagnosis can be expensive, time-consuming and difficult to organize, especially for people who live in a rural area.

"It's no wonder you would turn to online telemedicine to cope with that," he said.

Teva Stock Flounders

Meanwhile, Teva stock continues to struggle. Shares traded north of 70 in mid-2015. Since then, they have fallen to below 10. Other generic drug stocks have done the same.

But patients have little concern about stock prices and revenue. They just want to avoid the monthly nightmare — the worry they'll lose more hours trying to find medication that helps them focus.

Porteous, the social media influencer, finds irony in that. The thing that helps her manage her ADHD — and the anxiety that can come with it — is causing her angst.

"Every month you're panicking and worried you're not going to be able to get (your medicine)," she said. "There's a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness. Is it going to be in stock? Is it not? Am I going to be a week without it? Am I going to have to change to a different one?"

She added: "It feels counterproductive that the very thing that's there to help is causing you so much extra stress."

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.


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(Video) Addressing the Adderall shortage


When will Adderall shortage be done? ›

Suppliers are echoing demand issues, with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, a division of Novartis, telling ABC News they expect the product to remain in tight supply for the entirety of 2023.

What to do if pharmacy is out of Adderall? ›

Establish a Relationship With Your Local Pharmacy

“At large chain pharmacies, pharmacists can call around to other branches to see if they can fill your prescription. And at smaller pharmacies, the pharmacist may be able to contact distributors to see what they have on hand or are getting in,” says Dr. Sultan.

What is an alternative with Adderall shortage? ›

Dr. Amann prescribes it to some patients when Adderall is unavailable. In addition to Qelbree, other non-stimulants used to treat ADHD include atomoxetine (brand name Strattera), guanfacine (brand name Intuniv), and clonidine (brand name Kapvay).

Is there a Adderall shortage 2023? ›

The ongoing shortage has brought the DEA's limits on Adderall production under scrutiny. Though the current shortage was officially recognized in October 2022, the agency did not alter its plans for production quotas in 2023 in a December 2022 bulletin, to the bafflement of some outside observers.

What is the best alternative to Adderall? ›

Nooceptin: Closest Thing to Adderall for Memory, Anxiety, and Brain Cell Regeneration. Nooceptin is a cognitive enhancer designed to provide total brain optimization. While it is typically used for improving cognitive function, it acts as a powerful and effective Adderall substitute when taken long-term.

What to do if you run out of ADHD medication? ›

  1. Many chain pharmacies can search their computer system to find the medication you need at another location; in some cases, you may need to request this service in person at the pharmacy.
  2. If the chain pharmacies near you don't have the medication you need, try calling the independently owned pharmacies nearby.
Feb 8, 2023

What is the closest thing to Adderall over the counter? ›

Vyvamind is the closest thing available over-the-counter to Adderall. Although it's not as effective as Adderall, it does have the same effects, and is legal to take without a prescription. It also contains B vitamins, which are essential for the functioning of neurons. It also helps the body metabolize dopamine.

Can you get Adderall from an online pharmacy? ›

With the right online pharmacy, you can find refills for your Adderall prescription at reasonable prices. We want to break down barriers between patients and the medications they need to live their lives with minimal side effects.

Why is there a shortage of ADHD medication? ›

Some generic manufacturers, such as Teva, have claimed it is due to a combination of increased demand and manufacturing delays, which have come in the form of labor shortages and supply chain issues.

Does Teva still make generic Adderall? ›

Teva, which offers both branded and generic versions of the drug, has various presentations of Adderall available. However, its generic is under allocation only, amid an “unprecedented” increase in demand.

What is the longer lasting Adderall? ›

Adderall XR is the longer-lasting form, designed to be effective for 10-12 hours. It's a capsule with beads that are 50-50, so 50% of them are immediate release, and the other 50% are delayed release. The capsule can be opened and the beads mixed with food.

Why is Adderall so expensive without insurance? ›

Since Adderall is a prescription medication, it cannot be obtained over the counter, which ultimately makes it a more expensive drug. Without insurance, we found that it costs around $284.54 for thirty tablets of 20mg brand name Adderall.

What is the generic for Adderall? ›

The generic name for the drug in both the tablet and the capsule is amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salts. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version.

How can I increase my dopamine naturally for ADHD? ›

You can also do the following to increase your dopamine levels:
  1. Try something new.
  2. Make a list of small tasks and complete them.
  3. Listen to music you enjoy.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Try meditation or yoga.

Can you get a 90 day supply of Adderall? ›

Depending on your coverage and the rules in your state, your doctor may be able to write up to a 90-day prescription. It may be easier if your doctor can “eprescribe.” That's a secure way to electronically send in a prescription. Some doctors don't want to write large prescriptions for these medications.

What cancels out ADHD meds? ›

Drinks rich in ascorbic acid/vitamin C or citric acid (orange, grapefruit, and other drinks supplemented with vitamin C) may interfere with the absorption of Ritalin. Citric acid breaks down the medication before it has a chance to be absorbed by the body.

Can I take ADHD medication for the rest of my life? ›

You might not need to take stimulant medication for ADHD forever; however, your ADHD is still there. If symptoms warrant it, you'll want to start taking your ADHD medication again.

What is the alternative to Adderall in 2023? ›

Mind Lab Pro, Modafinil, NooCube Brain Productivity, Performance Lab Mind, and SANE Vitaae are some of the most effective alternatives to Adderall.

What is the strongest over the counter stimulant? ›

Caffeine is the most potent natural stimulant currently on the market, but it has side effects. While caffeine is an essential nutrient for our body, it doesn't always have the same effect on the brain. Therefore, if you're looking for a safe and effective alternative to speed, Vyvamind should be your first choice.

How can I get a prescription for Adderall easy? ›

A great place to start is with your primary care physician, as they can refer you to the proper practitioners if needed. If you already see a mental health provider, speak with them about your interest in finding out if Adderall can work for you.

Can I pick up someone else's Adderall prescription for them? ›

Yes, you can typically pick up a prescription for someone else. HIPAA allows a pharmacist to use their professional judgment when giving someone's prescription to a friend or relative.

Can you pick up someone else's Adderall from the pharmacy? ›

Practically, the answer is, yes – your prescription may usually be picked up by someone else. But, that individual will likely need a few more things. If the doctor wrote a prescription, for example, the person picking up the drug will require the written prescription to have it filled at the pharmacy.

How much does a 30 day supply of Adderall cost? ›

How much does Adderall cost per month? The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of generic Adderall is about $40. The monthly price depends on which strength you need and how many tablets you take each day.

What drug is currently in shortage? ›

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, some of the drugs experiencing current shortages include:
  • Albuterol inhalation solution (an asthma treatment)
  • Amoxicillin oral tablets and powders (an antibiotic)
  • Morphine injection.
  • Prednisone oral tablets (a steroid)
  • Sodium chloride (IV saline)
Mar 22, 2023

Who makes the best Adderall? ›

For the BEST quality and most potent adderall on the market is made by a company called TEVA.

What happened to Teva Adderall? ›

Teva Acknowledges Scrutiny In Adderall Shortage

That Adderall sales estimate is a drop in the bucket for Teva. The company reported $15.9 billion in 2021 sales and pulled in $14.9 billion in sales last year. But the shortage is another hit for already-depressed Teva stock and generic drug stocks.

Are all brands of Adderall the same? ›

Are generic versions identical to brand name Adderall? Generic versions of Adderall cost less but carry the same general benefits and risks. However, they may not be available in all formulations, such as the longer-lasting, sustained-release variety.

What are the strongest Adderall pills? ›

Adderall. The four-hour forms are called Adderall and come in 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, and 30 mg strengths. The eight-hour capsules come as Adderall XR and come in 5, 10, 15, 20, 15, and 30 mg strengths. The tablets are now available in generic form.

Can I take caffeine with Adderall? ›

But, in general, it's not recommended to drink coffee while taking Adderall. While small amounts of coffee may not worsen Adderall's side effects, combining the two can raise the risk of side effects like high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, feeling jittery, and trouble sleeping.

Does Adderall increase attention span? ›

Studies support that stimulants enhance attention, memory, self-regulation and executive function in individuals with ADHD.

What is the cheapest version of Adderall? ›

Vyvamind is designed to be a safe, effective, and affordable way to get a quick boost in concentration without the risk of side effects. While it has the best ingredients, it's also cheaper than Adderall and safer.

How much is Adderall at CVS without insurance? ›

This type of Adderall is less expensive than Extended Release options. The average price of an Immediate Release Adderall pack at CVS will cost you around $46 without insurance.

Do most insurances cover Adderall? ›

Generic Adderall XR is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare prescription drug plans. Healthcare plans that do not cover brand-name Adderall XR may cover the generic version.

What not to mix with Adderall? ›

Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication.

Does Adderall Ed go away? ›

Some people experience ED and other side effects when they first start taking Adderall. Then, as their body adjusts to the new medication over the course of several weeks, the problems subside.

What is Adderall salt combo? ›

Amphetamine salt combo (Adderall) is a moderately priced drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (uncontrollable desire for sleep or sudden attacks of deep sleep). Amphetamine salts are available in generic and brand versions.

Who are the biggest producers of Adderall? ›

Teva also sold more than half a billion dollars worth of Adderall in 2021, making it the largest supplier of the drug to the US market.

Why are there so many cases of ADHD now? ›

Although genetics account for the majority of the risk, Strathearn points out that if we are seeing a true rise in ADHD, it seems likely that environmental factors play a role in the recent rise, “because genetics don't change that quickly,” he says, i.e. over the course of 20 years.

What is the most common drug used in treating ADHD is still? ›

Stimulants are the best and most common type of medication used to treat ADHD. There are only two stimulant medications, methylphenidate (the active ingredient in Ritalin, Concerta and other formulations) and amphetamine (the active ingredient in Adderall, Vyvanse and other formulations).

What state prescribes the most Adderall? ›

A federal agency review of prescription drug monitoring programs finds that Massachusetts has the highest rate of prescriptions for stimulants among 26 representative states, including medications to treat ADHD such as Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta.

What is the DEA limit for Adderall shortage? ›

The spokesperson provided some numbers to show how this works: For 2023, the FDA estimated just over 38,000 kilograms of amphetamine would be sufficient to meet the demand for Adderall and its generics – and the DEA set the quota at 42,400 kilograms.

Why is brand name Adderall so expensive? ›

Since Adderall is a prescription medication, it cannot be obtained over the counter, which ultimately makes it a more expensive drug.

What drug is currently in shortage 2023? ›

Current Drug Shortages
Generic NameRevision Date
Acetylcholine Chloride Powder for Intraocular SolutionApril 28, 2023
Acetylcysteine Oral and Inhalation SolutionApril 24, 2023
Activated Charcoal Oral SuspensionApril 9, 2023
Acyclovir InjectionMay 31, 2022
235 more rows

What is the number 1 selling drug in America? ›

Best selling pharmaceuticals of U.S. Market
RankDrugMain indication
1adalimumabrheumatoid arthritis
3etanerceptrheumatoid arthritis
1 more row

What is the fastest growing drug problem in us? ›

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. The increase in unintentional drug overdose death rates in recent years has been driven by increased use of a class of prescription drugs called opioid analgesics. Source: National Vital Statistics System. Multiple cause of death dataset.


1. On Call with Dr. Kumar: How Adderall shortage is affecting patients
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2. Adderall shortage takes a toll on people who need it most
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3. Adderall shortage
4. Adderall Shortage Now Impacting People with ADHD
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5. Telehealth startups pushing Adderall on TikTok | On Balance
6. Stewie Takes Adderall For His ADHD - Family Guy
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