ADHD and Medication: Response to TES article

Dear Ms Ward,

Regarding your article By the Numbers published in the 23rd of August I must point out that the increase in the number of prescriptions quoted by the CQC for Medication of ADHD can be misleading. This is because many of these prescriptions are repeat prescriptions per child and not necessarily new cases.

For example many parents now have to have monthly prescriptions per child whereas until recently they had quarterly or 3 month prescriptions. As a result 4 prescriptions per year per child now becomes twelve.

I think you can see therefore why the rates quoted appear so high over the 2007 to 2012 period.

I do accept that greater awareness and understanding of this most misunderstood and mostly unfairly reported condition will lead to more cases of Medication use. However, I think it is only fair to consider the issue accurately.

In addition, though Methylphenidate as you mention is the active ingredient involved in many of the Medication options available in the UK, Ritalin accounts for only 1% of the market at this time.

I cannot really comment on the data outlined from the USA though I believe that Medication options always remain a difficult choice for parents and their children. As always good teaching and parenting practices will always be the fundamental principles in supporting children suffering with ADHD. However in some cases Medication may have a role in helping specific individuals towards successful learning and behaviour outcomes.

Fin O’Regan
Vice Chairman UKAP (The UK ADHD Partnership)