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Adderall Drug Shortage Will Continue in 2012, Gov’t Officials Say

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A contentious relationship between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Agency may cause a continuing shortage of the attention deficit medication Adderall, which the Food and Drug Administration just added to its official drug shortages list, the New York Times reported.

As of 2007, about 9.5 percent of school-aged children, or 5.4 million, were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, prescriptions for Adderall have numbered in the millions and continue to increase. And as demand for the drug grows, more and more patients have found the medication is out of stock at local pharmacies.

Experts say it’s difficult to say where the reason for drug shortage lies. To manage controlled substances that can potentially be abused, the DEA sets manufacturing quotas for drug ingredients each year to control supplies like Adderall. But Adderall drug manufacturers, which include Shire Plc and Novartis, Teva and CorePharma LLC, say they cannot meet the growing demand for the product without looser limits from the DEA.

The DEA questions whether there is actually a shortage of generic supplies, which are at an especially low supply, or whether the drug companies want to sell more of the expensive brand-name drugs.

Despite the growing demand, Special Agent Gary Boggs of the DEA’s office of diversion control told the New York Times, "We believe there is plenty of supply."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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