Adderall XR, a generic ADHD medication produced by Shire Pharmaceuticals, has been coming up short in pharmacies across the country. The drug company blames the Drug Enforcement Agency for setting its yearly manufacturing quota too low and refusing to be flexible with its restrictions on the amphetamine.
The DEA, the government agency responsible for regulating the active ingredient in Adderall, denies any role in the shortage.
So while the producers bicker about supply and demand, the consumers should be more courteous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.4 million children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2007 — nearly 10 percent of all school-aged kids.
Doctors wrote more than 18 million prescriptions for the drug in 2010, a 13.4 percent increase from the year before. Those who take it daily to function are helplessly going from pharmacy to pharmacy or turning to more expensive and less effective alternatives. Without Adderall, millions of Americans cannot focus, make decisions or be productive during the most basic of tasks.
Meanwhile, many students don’t actually need the drug in this way. They use Adderall recreationally: to power through an all-nighter at the library or to stay awake during that 7:45 a.m. class.
Without even touching on the aspects of drug abuse, let’s just call it common courtesy to let the truly needy to the front of the line. It’s the same with any commodity — gas, food, water, etc.
If there were a dairy shortage, the strong-boned would probably ration what they had to those with Vitamin D deficiencies instead of drinking it with breakfast. You can eat your cereal dry.
So next time you’re about to resort to “Addie” because you’re cramming for an exam the next day, think about who you may be taking from. Fire up the coffee pot instead.
The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.