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Pharmacies hope for an end to Adderall shortage as those with ADHD find different ways to cope

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River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

A months-long nationwide shortage of Adderall has prescribers, pharmacists and physicians waiting for relief.

The stimulant, which treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, has been in scarce supply as the Food and Drug Administration first announced the nationwide shortage in October 2022.

Manufacturing delays and a surge in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic has pharmacies fielding calls daily about whether the medication is in supply. It has those with ADHD putting their names waiting lists and making frequent contact with their physicians in order to get their prescriptions filled, or switching to other medications in the interim.

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks to a woman who has been diagnosed with ADHD since she was five years old, and has struggled to maintain her day-to-day life since the drug shortage. Chief Pharmacy Officer Michael Brownlee of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics explains the reasons for the shortage, and whether an end to the crisis is in sight.

Also, we talk with two Jefferson women behind a grassroots movement that brought new life to a nearly 150-year-old downtown building and helped renew local dining and tourism.


  • Kara, Midwest woman diagnosed with ADHD
  • Michael Brownlee, chief pharmacy officer, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Peg Raney, board president, Why Not Us?
  • Sara Ostrander, owner/chef, The Centennial
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.