How your government increases meth fatalities

image credit: Eric Dege CC BY-NC 2.0

That’s the conclusion from this Sun-Times article. They attribute rising methamphetamine use to shortage of Adderall (apparently including its generic version and “another popular [apparently lawful] stimulant”), which can’t be lawfully imported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory in October announcing that Adderall had fallen into short supply months after pharmacies reported issues filling prescriptions. Teva, a major producer, was “experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays,” the agency said.

Teva’s name-brand Adderall formulations are now “available,” according to the FDA, but there’s a “limited supply” of some generic versions.

There’s also a shortage of nearly 40 versions of methylphenidate, another popular stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

The easiest way to eliminate the shortage of prescription stimulants is for the government to lift importation restrictions temporarily and work with companies to ramp up U.S. production, Beletsky says.

But the government has said it won’t increase production quotas for Adderall because most manufacturers say they have sufficient inventory “to meet their contracted production quantities for legitimate patient medical needs.”

Why are drug costs so high?

Apparently the cost of research and development isn’t the cause.

Large drug companies simply can’t afford to keep spending as much as they are now, when about 10% to 20% of revenue goes to R&D

That’s 10-20% of drug company revenue, not including the markup your pharmacy and “health insurance” company add.  I wonder how much of the remaining 80-90% is spent, directly or indirectly, on lobbying and enhancing their privileges.