AARP Eye Center
At grocery stores and drugstores, some shelves are empty. Waiting lists for other items can drag on for months. And some things are just not available for purchase at all.
Everything from climate change to supply chain snarls have created disruptions and left customers searching. Since the start of the pandemic, consumers have seen shortages of eggs, toilet paper, bikes and more. While many supply issues have resolved over time, ongoing or new disruptions are frustrating retailers and consumers.
Here’s a look at some of the items that are difficult to find right now.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
Millions of Americans are struggling to fill prescriptions for Adderall, the popular stimulant used to treat conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.
In October, the Food and Drug Administration announced a shortage of amphetamine mixed salts, which is a component of Adderall. Seven common Adderall ingredients are on back order, according to the drug shortages page of the FDA website.
Manufacturing delays developed after Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest Adderall producers, encountered worker shortages in 2021. Labor problems have largely subsided, but increased popularity of the drug has made it difficult for manufacturers to keep pace with new orders. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that between 2006 and 2016, prescription stimulant use more than doubled in the United States and 41.4 million Adderall prescriptions were issued in 2021. That's a 10 percent increase from 2020, according to data from IQVIA, a health research firm.
Experts say the growing popularity can be attributed to a sharp increase in ADHD diagnoses. Maggie Sibley, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine who studies ADHD, said the shortage has made life difficult for many Adderall users. “There's some evidence suggesting there can be certain withdrawal effects for certain people,” Sibley said in a statement. “Treatment in the field of ADHD is greatly shifting right now.”
James McKinney, an FDA spokesperson, said that although many Teva-produced doses are on back order, customers are still able to purchase amphetamine mixed salts from other manufacturers. The FDA website predicts some shortages could be resolved within the next month while others may persist until January 2023.