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AHRQ and FDA to Collaborate in Largest Study Ever of Possible Heart Risks with ADHD Medications
Date:9/17/2007

ADHD, but it is unknown whether or not these events are causally related to treatment," said Gerald Dal Pan, M.D., director of FDA's Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology. "The goal of this study is to develop better information on this question."

The study will be coordinated by Vanderbilt University researchers on contract through AHRQ's Effective Health Care program. Data analysis will be performed by researchers at Vanderbilt, Kaiser Permanente of California, the HMO Research Network and i3 Drug Safety, as well as from FDA and AHRQ. The analysis will include all drugs currently marketed for treating ADHD. The study will analyze the risks of all the drugs as a whole, and risks of the drugs grouped by class.

The analysis will take about 2 two years to complete. Results are expected to be important not only to patients, their families and health care providers, but also to government insurance programs. Medicaid, Medicare, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program provide reimbursement for drugs prescribed for ADHD. This information could also be used to inform product labeling, which is used by health care providers when making treatment decisions.

ADHD is a behavioral disorder that, in many patients, causes hyperactivity, and may have a significant impact on school performance and social functioning. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD affects approximately 3 percent to 5 percent of school-age children and about 4 percent of adults.

Use of ADHD drugs has increased in recent years among children and adults. A recent AHRQ analysis of medication expenditures found three ADHD drugs- Concerta, Strattera, and Adderall-ranked among the top five drugs prescribed for children ages 17 years and younger. About $1.3 billion was spent on those drugs in 2004, the study estimated. Adult use is also believed to be increasing.

In May 2006, based on a review of anecdotal reports of heart attack, stroke and sudden deat
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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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