The Adderall shortage

Exploring rates of prescription fills over time

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Authors: Truveta Research Truveta, Inc, Bellevue, WA
Date: April 2, 2023



The FDA announced a shortage of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, citing the cause as increased demand, in October 2022. While over 40 million people receive attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) medications in the US, little is known about the impact of this shortage. Further, little is known about if certain demographic groups are affected more than others. The objective of this study was to understand the impact of the amphetamine/dextroamphetamine shortage and differentiate by age groups.


Using a subset of Truveta Data, we identified people who had an ADHD diagnosis and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine prescription fill between January 2016 and December 2023. We calculated the monthly rate of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine prescription fills per eligible population overall and for a population over and under 18 between 2018-2023.



We included 336,355 people. Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine prescription fill rates were 11.4% lower in the first five months of 2023 compared to the first five months of 2022. Age-stratified groups followed similar trends; however, age groups over 18 had both a higher average fill rate and experienced more substantial decreases in fill rates throughout late 2022 and 2023.



We found a decreased rate of people receiving amphetamine/dextroamphetamine prescription fills between the end of 2022 through the end of 2023. We also found people under 18 received more prescription fills during fall, winter, and spring months, compared to summer months. This trend was not seen for the adult population, and likely correlates with summer months indicating parents were not stockpiling amphetamine/dextroamphetamine for school months.