November 15th, 2012

Are pharmaceutical companies marketing ADHD drugs to adults?

By Emily Kaiser
Minnesota Public Radio

More than 4 million children have prescriptions for medicines like Ritalin and Adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But as the number of medicated kids is hitting a saturation point, are drug companies beginning to market their drugs more heavily to adults?

One pharmaceutical company estimates that there may be nearly 10 million adults who have ADHD. But what do these numbers mean for doctors and potential patients struggling with attention problems?

“As a marketing goal, absolutely realistic,” said Larry Diller, author of ‘Remembering Ritalin: A Physician and Generation Rx Reflect on Life and Psychiatric Drugs,’ on The Daily Circuit Wednesday. “As people who could benefit from taking a stimulant medication, that becomes much more questionable. And then finally, what are the risks to the individual and the society in having 10 million legal prescriptions?”

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