ADHD patients - Under or overmedicated?

“ADHD Kids Undermedicated?”

You can bet THAT headline from Ivanhoe Newswire caught my eye!

adhd_vidUNDERmedicated? According to the most recent available sales figures supplied by IMS Health, a pharmaceutical marketing information firm, sales of ADHD drugs jumped from about $760 million in 2000, to $3.1 billion in 2004. But a new study from Washington University School of Medicine reports that about 58 percent of boys and 45 percent of girls diagnosed with “full-scale ADHD” didn’t receive any medication at all.

Ivanhoe reports that the authors of the study speculate that mental health professionals may need to do a better job of explaining the risks and benefits of treatment with these drugs. In other words: Step up the sales pitch!

The researchers add: “When used properly these drugs have been shown to be very safe.”

See? Now THAT’S how you sell drugs! You certainly don’t mention that ADHD drugs are responsible for more than 3,000 emergency room visits each year (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

And whatEVER you do, don’t mention this quote from Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Steven Nissen, M.D. (who was part of an FDA advisory panel that reviewed ADHD drug safety): “I have grave concerns about the use of these drugs and grave concerns about the harm they may cause.”

If parents hear too much talk like that, we’ll end up with a whole generation of undermedicated children. And just imagine the severe consequences that would have on drug company profits.