Witness to Corruption: Merchants of Speed or the Modern-Day ADHD Medicine Show

August 7, 2014 5:12 PM

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Witness to Corruption: Merchants of Speed or the Modern-Day ADHD Medicine Show

I never got a confirming report from my dinner-meeting colleague on Strattera. Indeed, in the ensuing years, despite a massive marketing campaign directed at both physicians and patients, Lilly failed to get Strattera approved as a first-line ADHD drug by any of the major pediatric or professional child psychiatric organizations. In a head-to-head competition with Concerta, Strattera was found to be only six-tenths as effective as Concerta in ameliorating the symptomatic behaviors of ADHD. It was especially poor in addressing the inattentive behaviors (daydreaming) of the non-hyperactive form of ADHD. (The study was funded by Janssen, maker of Concerta.)

Nonetheless, while the risk of abuse in a child under 13 is essentially zero, parents fear stimulant drugs' reputation, and Lilly's marketing of Strattera as a non-stimulant alternative had some impact. It ultimately occupies only around 5 to 7 percent of the ADHD medication market. While that may n...

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