Nationwide Adderall Shortage the Result of Off-Label Use?

Such is the suggestion of George Dvorsky in a recent blog post:

It seems obvious to me that a significant portion of the demand (and resultant shortage) of Adderall has to do with all those people who are taking it not because they suffer from any condition, but because they’re taking advantage of its nootropic qualities; it’s increasingly being used off-label as a cognitive enhancer.

George finishes with the idea that:

“…the concept of neuroenhancement needs to be normalized in society.”

On that point, I couldn’t agree more.

2 thoughts on “Nationwide Adderall Shortage the Result of Off-Label Use?

  1. Cigarettes and coffee are neuroenhancers as well, but their longterm usage is detrimental to our health. Should we really be normalizing usage of brain altering chemicals that we haven’t studied effects of for more than a few decades?

  2. I suppose it depends what is meant by “normalize.” In this case I’m thinking of the fact that while it is acceptable to use drugs to fix a perceived deficit, it is often not acceptable to use them for enhancement. Normalizing enhancement might actually improve safety by encouraging more research in the area. Here’s a clarifying quote from the original blog post:

    “In fact, when off-label use is through the roof like this (i.e. when a certain critical mass is surpassed in terms of usage), regulators should compel drug developers to conduct further investigations into the so-called unintended effects of the drug. This will not only ensure the eventual safety and efficacy of these drugs, but it may also provide an opportunity for Pharma to market an entirely new set of drugs. In such cases, user demand is satiated, safety/efficacy assured, and Pharma gets to sell a drug that was developed for something entirely unintended. It’s win all around.”