Pay attention: Adults now main ADHD treatment target
- Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs in adults is growing twice as fast as the pediatric market, according to Shire's CEO, Flemming Ornskov.
- Shire's ADHD drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is the leading ADHD treatment for both children aged 6 to 17 and adults.
- According to a report published on FiercePharma, 53% of ADHD drugs in 2014 were for adults, up from 39% in 2014.
For years, experts have been saying that ADHD is more common than we thought, and now prescribing patterns are catching up with popular wisdom. Two things driving adult uptake of ADHD drugs in the United States (U.S.) is the fact that children with ADHD don't necessarily outgrow it and also that parents of children with an ADHD diagnosis tend to be more aware and likely to be tested themselves.
This trend has clearly paid off for Shire. Vyvanse, which is now not only Shire's best-selling drug, but the best-selling ADHD drug in general, grossed $1.4 billion last year---an 18% increase in sales based on 4% growth in prescriptions. The second- and third-ranking top sellers of ADHD drugs are Johnson & Johnson, which markets Concerta, and Novartis, which markets Ritalin.
Shire has also benefited from its additional binge-eating disorder indication for Vyvanse, and is also trying to move into the market for treating ADHD in preschoolers. In addition, although the market for ADHD is dominated by children in Europe (74% of ADHD drug prescriptions in Europe are written for children), there is a gradual shift towards treating more adults, with Sweden leading the way.
The future looks bright for the Vyvanse franchise given the large population of people with ADHD.