13 of 20 most popular drugs are in shortage

More than half, or 65%, of the nation's 20 most commonly prescribed medications are in constrained supply. 

Thirteen of GoodRx's list of the 20 most popular therapies are in shortage, according to drug shortage databases from the FDA and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Here are the 13 ongoing shortages of popular drugs:

1. Amphetamine salt combo: The ASHP and FDA have reported an ongoing shortage of multiple solutions since summer 2022. The attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication has been in thin supply because of unprecedented demand, drugmakers said. The ASHP says 39 solutions are in shortage while seven are available, and the FDA reports 16 in shortage and 57 as available. 

2. Hydrocodone and acetaminophen: There's been a shortage of this painkiller since May 2023, according to the ASHP. As of Nov. 15, 31 solutions among five drugmakers are in shortage while 21 are available. None of the pharmaceutical companies could estimate a resupply date. 

3. Gabapentin: In May, the ASHP reported the shortage of three solutions of the medication indicated for seizures, restless legs syndrome and shingles. As of Oct. 13, five solutions are available and Mylan said one backordered solution would return to normal supply in November.

4. Prednisone has been in short supply since May 2019, according to the ASHP. Teva Pharmaceuticals has one solution of the corticosteroid on back order with an estimated recovery date in January, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals has three solutions in shortage without a resupply date. Forty-eight other solutions are available. 

5. Albuterol inhalation solution: The shortage of the asthma drug has been ongoing since March 2022. Three solutions are in short supply, one is discontinued and 11 are available as of Nov. 29. 

6. Amoxicillin: The antibiotic's shortage is now more than 1 year old. As of Oct. 22, the ASHP said 48 solutions are unavailable at normal supply levels and eight are available. The FDA reports 12 solutions are on allocation, seven in limited supply and 26 as available. 

7. Amphetamine salt combo extended-release: The ASHP first reported the shortage in August 2022, and as of Oct. 18, 2023, 40 solutions of the ADHD medication are in shortage and 35 are available. 

8. Azithromycin: The shortage of monohydrate solutions resolved, the FDA reported in August, and Pfizer discontinued two solutions of the antibiotic in September for business reasons. 

9. Tramadol: The painkiller has been in short supply since January 2020, according to the ASHP. As of Oct. 3, 10 solutions are discontinued, two are on back order with a resupply date in October and six are available. 

10. Amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate: Three solutions of the antibiotic are at normal supply levels while 38 are in short supply, the ASHP said Sept. 12. None of the drugmakers could predict a resupply date. 

11. Clonazepam: The seizure drug has been in shortage since March, according to the FDA, which reported six solutions as unavailable and 26 at normal supply levels. On Nov. 30, the ASHP said 18 presentations are on back order or allocation while four solutions are available. Teva said its four solutions will be available in January, Solco Pharmaceutical said its eight presentations are on allocation and is reviewing all orders, and Accord Healthcare could not predict a release date for its six backordered solutions. 

12. Ondansetron: The injection has been in unsteady supply since 2018, according to the ASHP. The drug is used to ease nausea after patients receive chemotherapy. As of Dec. 6, five solutions are unavailable and seven are available. Hikma expects more supply in early December, Fresenius Kabi said it is launching more syringes in January and Pfizer's backordered solutions have release dates in late 2024. 

13. Pantoprazole, a drug that manages stomach acid levels, has been in shortage since 2019, according to the ASHP, but the FDA reported the issue as resolved in September. As of Dec. 6, three solutions are in shortage and seven are not, the ASHP said. 

Lisinopril, a hypertension drug, was in short supply in spring 2023 after multiple solutions were discontinued. The issue has since been resolved. The six other therapies not in shortage are sildenafil, an erectile dysfunction drug; weight loss medication phentermine; anxiety drug alprazolam; insomnia therapy zolpidem; atorvastatin, a statin; and cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer.

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