ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Medication, Web/Tech

Insurers Question If Adderall Works

According to the CDC, ADHD sufferers with insurance are three times more likely to be taking medication than those with insurance. In total, the US spends $250 billion a year on medication and now the insurers and Medicaid programs are starting to ask awkward questions about the effectiveness of all these medication. This article on the growing battle between pharmaceutical companies and the organizations that pay for the drugs has an interesting quote:
"When she reviewed Adderall, a stimulant now marketed by Shire Pharmaceuticals Group PLC to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, she noted that one of the major trials included only people who had responded well to Ritalin, another ADHD drug. She thought the move likely improved the results. Dr. Kubota recommended leaving Adderall off Kaiser’s formulary. The physician committees partially overruled her, putting Adderall on the Northern and Southern California formularies but only for patients who failed to respond to another stimulant. Adderall later was added to the preferred list as a first-line treatment after a once-daily formulation went on the market.
A spokesman for Shire, Matt Cabrey, said that the designers of the trial, which was conducted when Adderall belonged to another company, felt that for ethical reasons they should give the drug to people with a "reasonable anticipated reaction." James Swanson, the lead author of the article that described the trial’s results, said the trial was designed to show whether Adderall works faster than Ritalin
This means that a major trial of Adderall was conducted on people who had already taken Ritalin. This is very different from giving it to people with no experience of other drugs. because the Ritalin users have already been shown to respond well to stimulants so reports of side-effects or poor effectiveness would be reduced.
See also: ADHD, Children and Medication , FDA Concerns Over ADHD Drug ConcertaADHD Drug Market: $2.7 billion


  1. Nancy Hokkanen

    Looks like my autistic son dodged another bullet. Three years ago a neurologist prescribed Adderal without running any medical tests; my son became psychotic. Next he prescribed Ritalin saying, “Usually if one doesn’t work, the other one does.” I quit the doctor, quit the drugs, and started my own study of biochemistry. After testing and nutritional supplementation my son responded quickly and nowadays is happy and close to neurotypical.

  2. Sam

    My daughter has ADHD,ODD. The only medication that helped her was Adderall. Within 30 minutes of taking the medication she was transformed from a nasty, verbally abusive, impulsive individual into a calm, rational and pleasant person to be around. She went from failing every subject in High School to being an honor student. Unfortunately for her, after she graduated from high school, she stopped taking the medication. Today, at the age of 27, she bounces from one bad decision to another.

  3. Joe

    I have taken both short acting adderall(amphetamine salts) and long acting Adderall XR and have had great success with both. I take them in combination, have no side effects. And the benefits have been fantastic.

  4. jack

    My childs dr reccomended switching from concerta to vyvans iam cautious and worried that there isn’t enough research about vyvans. Should I be concerned.

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