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21 November 2014

Report details patterns of ADHD treatment in WA

The number of patients prescribed stimulant medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) increased in 2013, according to the latest report from the Western Australian Stimulant Regulatory Scheme.

There were 17,599 Western Australians receiving stimulants for the treatment of ADHD in 2013, up from 16, 232 in 2012. In 2013, these patients filled 141,982 prescriptions for stimulant mediation.

WA Health Chief Pharmacist Neil Keen said the Stimulant Regulatory Scheme had set the policy for prescribing and dispensing of stimulant medication in WA since 2003.

"This is the ninth report of the Scheme and provides a detailed description of stimulant prescribing patterns in WA, rates of treatment and patient demographics." 

"The current figures show an increase in people receiving treatment compared to 2012, which continues the recent trend of a consistent, gradual rise," Mr Keen said.

"The overall number of patients in treatment has increased since the scheme began in 2003, but this also reflects growth in the WA population over this period.

"When compared across the population, the rates of prescribing for adults have increased from 4.1 to 5.8 per 1,000 people," he said.

"At the same time the rates for children have gone down significantly, from 22.2 to 13.4 per 1,000 people."

A snapshot of the 2013 figures for adults shows:

  • 11,016 patients were treated with stimulants (63% of all patients)
  • 62% were male and 38% were female
  • 1,322 patients were new to treatment

For children the report also showed:

  • 6 583 patients being treated (37% of all patients)
  • 79% were male and 21% were female
  • 1,601 patients were new to treatment in 2013

The full report is available on the Department of Health website.

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