Scarcity of several high-profile prescription drugs, such as the antibiotic amoxicillin and the ADHD treatment Adderall, have had some patients searching pharmacies and rationing pills, and now parents in some areas are having to hunt to find over-the-counter pain- and fever-reducing medications for their sick kids.
So what’s going with the availability of medications in the United States?
Nothing too unusual, experts say. Even when demand is not sky-high, drugs shortages happen regularly – but usually more quietly – in the US.
Shortages “hit a lot of different patient populations with different drugs and whatnot, but many of those don’t get a lot of headline news because they’re very niche,” said David Margraf, a pharmaceutical research scientist with the Resilient Drug Supply Project at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
At any time, the reasons why shelves may be empty vary from place to place and from drug to drug. Each shortage has its own particular factors.