HealthDay News — While demand for prescription stimulants is surging, a shortage of the drugs persists, so federal officials have stepped in and asked drug companies to ramp up production of the medications. Officials from both the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Drug Enforcement Administration made the joint request.
“The FDA and DEA do not manufacture drugs and cannot require a pharmaceutical company to make a drug, make more of a drug, or change the distribution of a drug,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D., and Drug Enforcement Administration leader Anne Milgram wrote in a letter issued. “That said, we are working closely with numerous manufacturers, agencies, and others in the supply chain to understand, prevent, and reduce the impact of these shortages.”
The agencies are also asking prescribers to carefully monitor their prescribing practices. “The lack of availability of certain medications in recent months has been understandably frustrating for patients and their families,” Califf and Milgram wrote in their letter.
Reasons for the shortage include manufacturing delays by 1 drugmaker last fall. Meanwhile, demand for prescription stimulants for adults surged during the pandemic, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The FDA first announced a shortage of Adderall last October.
The DEA limits the amount of stimulants that can be produced, but manufacturers have not been reaching that upper limit, the joint letter noted. A 2022 analysis showed they were 30% short of the quota. The agency is asking manufacturers to relinquish any quota they cannot meet so the DEA can redistribute it, while it is “committed to reviewing and improving” the quota process.