ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, isn’t just for kids anymore.
Adults in the U.S. have overtaken children in taking medication for the condition and accounted for 53 percent of the industrywide 63 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs last year, according to data compiled by Shire Plc, which makes the top-selling Vyvanse treatment. That compared with 39 percent in 2007, the Dublin-based drugmaker said.
The market shift, which refutes the common perception that ADHD is a pediatric condition, has occurred partly because the disorder persists into adulthood, according to studies. More parents of children with ADHD — which leads to restlessness, lack of focus and impulsive behavior — are also getting diagnosed amid a growing awareness that it can be inherited.
“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. “It’s growing fast, almost twice as fast as the overall market.”