NYT Dec.15,2013 Headlines:
The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder
The Number of Diagnoses Soared Amid a 20-Year Drug Marketing Campaign
the article clik
Could this be a confusion of correlation with cause? (Other possible headlines: Soared amid 20 years of global warming, or increased use of hybird cars, or of increasing airline ticket prices).
However, it seems likely that the phrama companies’ advertising has indeed pushed and increased the diagnosis of the condition. To some extent, that would seem to be a good thing. However, when I read that 1 in 7 children (14.3%) are diagnosed, that seems pretty high; my impression from previous studies is that it’s about 8% in children and that half of those have significant persistence into adulthood (so 4% of adults; we are not rare).
I don’t find much in the article that is clearly wrong, and I agree that some of the advertising and physician promoting is quite questionable, but i do think the tone and slant is unduly negative. Also, I personally found the article too long for someone with ADD – we do better with short. (I confess that I have not carefully read it word by word.)
from the article:
“Few dispute that classic A.D.H.D, historically estimated to affect 5 percent of children, is a legitimate disability that impedes success at school, at work, and in personal life. Medication often assuages the severe impulsiveness and inability to concentrate, allowing a person’s underlying drive and intelligence to emerge.”
I would’ve said, instead of “to emerge”, “to be utilized for productive functioning”.
I am not aware of my doing any prescribing influenced by advertising (that doesn’t mean it’s never happened, of course).
I am influenced by :
1. my assessment of the patient
3. previous experience with other patients and medications
4. what other physicians tell me of their experience
5. included in assessing the patient: their preferences, their previous experiences, experience of close family member, medical conditions, other meds or substances they take, costs of meds, potential side effects of meds.
6. I started diagnosing ADD mainly after I discovered my own, and then began to recognize it in others, not after reading pharma ads. I regret the many I must’ve missed.
Bottom line: Maybe the advertising is really a big factor in the high prescribing, by increasing awareness of the disorder?
Many questions abound. overdiagnosis? abuse and addiction? effect on non ADD ADHDers?
The article clik