When it’s Hard to Concentrate

ADHD spending on the rise

(RxWiki News) In our modern world of cell phones, computers and mobile devices, it’s hard enough to concentrate.  Add a genetic predisposition to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and you might find yourself using medication to keep you focused.    

If you do, you’re not alone.  

"Talk to your doctor about ADHD treatments"

In an observational study that spanned almost ten years, researchers found some interesting trends among how many people are using pharmaceuticals to treat ADHD and how much those drugs cost.

To narrow down the specifics, researchers used a national cohort (group) of children ages 3-17 from claims made on Florida’s Medicaid program.  Over the period of the study, which included 107,486 individuals from 1996-2005, they found that the number of children who used ADHD medication increased 3%, but who used antidepressants declined 6%.

Even with these small increases and decreases, spending on mental health increased 61%, but spending on stimulants (which are the kind that help treat ADHD) skyrocketed 157% .  This is most likely because the price as well as the number of days these medications are being taken also increased. 

So while there was only a relatively small increase in the percentage of children who use ADHD medications within this study, spending on those medications doubled itself over. 

The good news is that over 90% of ADHD medication is now long-acting and quickly replacing short-acting stimulants. 

This study was sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association and published by Psychiatric Services VOL. 63 No. 2 on February 1, 2012.  No conflicts in funding were presented.