ADHD & Patient Experience
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurobiological and developmental disorder that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. The condition is marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
Although there is no single medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD, qualified mental health care professionals and physicians can provide a diagnostic evaluation after gathering information from multiple sources including ADHD symptom checklists, standardized behavior rating scales, detailed histories of past and current functioning, and information obtained from family members or significant others who know the person well. Some practitioners will also conduct tests of cognitive ability and academic achievement in order to rule out a possible learning disability.
Treatment for ADHD has two important components — medications and psychotherapy interventions (for both the child and the parents; or the adult with ADHD).
In the United States, approximately 6.4 million or 11% of children and adolescents aged 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Among this group, 80% receive treatment and an 65% demonstrate clinical ADHD symptoms that persist into adulthood.
Adult ADHD prevalence is estimated at 4.4% of the population (11 million patients), double the size of the child and adolescent segment, however, only 20% receive treatment. The adult market is growing at 10% annually as a growing number of patients seek treatment. ADHD medication sales have grown 8 percent each year since 2010 and will grow another 13 percent this year to $12.9 billion