Sandoz, Amneal and Rhodes join Teva in nationwide generic Adderall shortage as demand spikes

An Adderall shortage that kicked off with Teva Pharmaceutical in early August has extended to three other generics giants as demand for the prescription ADHD medicine spikes.

Alongside Teva, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Purdue subsidiary Rhodes Pharmaceuticals and Novartis’ soon-to-be-spun-off generics unit Sandoz have generic extended-released Adderall on back order, according to a recent supply update from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), which tracks current drug shortages.  

Together, the quartet of copycat drugmakers provide just over half of all generic extended-release Adderall in the U.S., Bloomberg News notes, citing data from Symphony Health that shows prescriptions dispensed at pharmacies in recent months.  

The supply disruption intersects with an unprecedented spike in Adderall prescriptions this year, which Bloomberg attributed to a combination of increased diagnoses and greater availability of the medicine through online startups. Those startup companies, such as Cerebral and Done, have also taken flak for their prescribing practices because stimulant-based Adderall can be prone to abuse.

Taking a closer look at the supply squeeze, Amneal is struggling on supplies of 5-mg, 15-mg and 25-mg amphetamine mixed salts extended-release capsules. Purdue’s Rhodes is facing issues with its 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-mg capsules. Sandoz, for its part, has run into problems with 15-mg and 20-mg doses.

The growing supply hitch comes about a month after the production squeeze on Teva’s 20-mg and 30-mg Adderall tablets came to light.

Teva reported back-order issues with its generic amphetamine mixed salts as well, ASHP pointed out at the time.

Meanwhile, a Teva spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company’s Adderall delay was the result of a labor shortage on the product’s packaging line. The problem has since been resolved, but it’s still taking Teva some time to catch up, which is why some generic extended-release Adderall doses are still on back order, the spokesperson said.

Sandoz, for its part, told the news service customers have recently asked to increase their generic extended-release orders, which Sandoz can’t accommodate in full. That’s because the federal government limits how much Adderall—a Schedule 2 controlled substance—each company is allowed to manufacture.

Elsewhere, other companies like Prasco and Lannett have said they have generic Adderall dosages available, according to ASHP. Rhodes, Sandoz and Amneal still have certain Adderall strengths on tap, too.

Takeda's Shire, the branded Adderall drugmaker, also has supplies in stock, ASHP says.

In terms of when supplies are expected to recover, Amneal has 5-mg capsules on back order and expects a release date in late September, ASHP said. Fifteen- and 25-mg capsules should be available again in late-August. As for the Rhodes doses on back order, 10-, 15-, 25- and 30-mg capsules are being released “as they become available,” while 20-mg capsules remain in “limited supply.”

Sandoz said it cannot estimate a release date for its 15-mg capsules, while it expects 20-mg capsules to recover by September.

The various Teva dosages in shortage are also predicted to recover throughout next month.

Before the shortage spread beyond Teva, pharmacists were already struggling to stock the drug, with nearly two-thirds of drugstores reporting ordering problems at the end of July and beginning of August, Bloomberg pointed out.