Adults surpass kids for ADHD scripts

June 22, 2015

More adults than children in the United States now take medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new data.

More adults than children in the United States now take medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new data.

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Adults account for 53% of the 63 million prescriptions written for ADHD drugs last year, according to Shire Plc, manufacturer of Vyvanse and Adderall for ADHD. In 2007, adults accounted for only 39% of total ADHD drug scripts.

“We’ve shifted more effort into the adult ADHD market, which is now more than half of the overall market and has the highest growth,” Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov said in a recent conference call with analysts, according to Bloomberg. “It’s growing fast, almost twice as fast as the overall market.”

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More adults are receiving prescriptions for ADHD because the disorder persists into adulthood, according to studies. In addition, there is a growing awareness that ADHD can be inherited, so more parents of children with ADHD are getting diagnosed, Bloomberg reported.

Sales of Vyvanse rose 18% to $1.4 billion last year, accounting for half the branded market for ADHD drugs globally. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson’s Concerta produced $599 million in sales last year, according to Bloomberg.

Shire recently reformulated Adderall into a long-acting treatment for adults, which lasts 16 hours, and plans to seek approval from US regulators by spring, 2017.

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