Does the world need another ADHD drug?

Merrill Goozner asks this question on his blog. An excerpt: “With nearly a half million kids on six different mind-bending drugs, you’d think the psychiatric profession already had enough options for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But that’s not the way our drug approval system works. It’s a free market out there, open to all comers. So this Thursday the Food and Drug Administration’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee will consider another drug for ADHD – Cephalon’s Sparlon, which is generically known as modafinil.

Late night truckers and shift workers are already familiar with this drug. In their sleep-disordered world, it is known as Provigil. It’s not an amphetamine. It’s mechanism of action, to use the mystifying argot of the drug scientists, is “poorly understood.� In layman’s language, that means they have no idea how or why it works.�

Read the rest of Goozner’s article, which discusses suicide risks, bribes, patent expiration and generic drug competition.

Goozner concludes: “I’m sure we’ll hear from plenty of testimony on Thursday from parents and physicians who swear by this new drug. But the jaded business reporter in me wonders if the kids are just pawns in the company’s patent game.�

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on March 22, 2006 7:03 AM.

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