Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a real and treatable neurobehavioral medical condition. Although it has been diagnosed and treated in North America, Australia and some parts of Europe for many years, understanding of ADHD remains patchy in many parts of the world. We have more than 20 years of ADHD experience working with physicians, patients and their families. We think it is our responsibility to share this expertise, by providing balanced, reliable and scientifically sound information in order to help improve the understanding of this difficult and life-altering condition. We seek to do this in a variety of ways – for example, sponsoring new research and conducting educational work with physicians, patients, care givers and policymakers
Reflecting on 2012
- Launched new educational programs for individuals with ADHD, their families, and health care professionals in the US as part of the ongoing comprehensive educational program - ADHD: A Shared Focus. The most recent addition is ADHDandYou.com. The Web site provides information about ADHD, the diagnosis of ADHD, and explains potential components of an ADHD management plan.
- Made available the ADHDandYou website platform in some EU countries and Brazil to provide stakeholders with important information about ADHD in local languages.
- Published a ‘Back-to School’ Stress Survey which unveiled the difficulties of parents with children who have ADHD during the ‘Back to School’ period, compared to parents with children who do not have ADHD. Six EU countries and Canada took part in this survey.
- Continued to build overall awareness and understanding of the unmet needs of people with ADHD in Spain by working with multidisciplinary stakeholders and experts in ADHD. A sociological study to evaluate the general level of awareness of ADHD across general population in Spain revealed a lack of general awareness about ADHD and the issues faced by patients with ADHD. These results were presented during ADHD Awareness Week 2012.
- Supported the Better Futures Group in the UK meeting in the House of Lords, to bring together key MPs and Peers to help build support for the group’s Call to Action as the forthcoming Children and Families Bill makes its passage through Parliament in 2013. The call to action is “That in all children who receive two fixed term exclusions from school ADHD is considered, and if appropriate, an assessment process for ADHD is initiated”.
- Conducted a systematic literature review and analysis of applicable studies which assessed the economic impact of ADHD in the United States with health economists from Tufts Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania and Shire’s Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research group. It was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).
- Organized a European Expert Roundtable meeting in Brussels entitled ‘Living with ADHD – the impact, cost and long-term outcomes’. The meeting was attended by 21 external stakeholders. It provided a unique European forum for discussion of key issues regarding the impact of ADHD across a diverse range of disciplines.
- Provided input to a special session of the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, dedicated to mental health in children and adolescents on April 24th. The event brought together 50 participants representing all key policy stakeholder groups. In attendance were key Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), officials from the European Commission and Member States, and other influential European stakeholders to discuss mental health disorders in children and adolescents in Europe, their impact on patients and society and the potential policy responses. The event was instrumental in elevating ADHD on the European mental health and education policy agendas.
- Launched the Shire ADHD Patients and Parents Network working with Shire employees impacted by ADHD.
Commitments for 2013
- Continue with research programs to provide scientific evidence of the impact of ADHD on people’s lives and about various treatment approaches.
- Continue to strengthen and forge important stakeholder partnerships to help educate and raise awareness about the seriousness of ADHD as a medical condition and its impact on society and to encourage the appropriate use of ADHD stimulant medicines.
- Build relationships and facilitate discussion between parents, educators and healthcare professionals regarding better understanding of and support for mental health, including ADHD, in schools.
- Launch a multicultural disease awareness and education program to help reduce stigma and encourage parents and families to seek help for ADHD.
Impact, Cost and Long Term Outcomes of ADHD in Europe
Last November, Shire brought together at an expert roundtable in Brussels academics, patient organizations and other stakeholder groups in mental health and education to examine the impact, cost and long-term outcomes of ADHD in Europe.
National Action Plan for ADHD
One of the biggest challenges facing the families of patients with ADHD is often a general lack of awareness. Another is when patients and their families are insufficiently equipped to deal with the wider societal impacts—despite excellent support by dedicated professionals.