Rise in ADHD sufferers seeking GP help drives prescription numbers up 7%

Increase in number of ADHD sufferers seeking GP help as prescriptions for drugs to treat the condition rise by 7% between April and June

  • Some 2.23 million ADHD drugs were dispensed in the UK in the year to June 2022
  • In 2015, the number of drugs prescribed for the disease was 1.31 million
  • Many patients seek medication privately before going to the NHS for follow-up

More people than ever are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, according to new data.

Prescriptions for drugs to treat the disease are also on the rise. Between April and June alone, there was a 7% increase, according to the NHS Business Services Authority.

A total of 2.23 million ADHD drugs were dispensed from July 2021 to June 2022 – a huge increase from 1.31 million prescriptions in 2015.

Prescriptions for drugs to treat the disease are also on the rise. Between April and June alone there was a 7% increase, according to the NHS Business Services Authority

Most cases are diagnosed in children between the ages of three and seven, but sometimes they are diagnosed later in childhood

Most cases are diagnosed in children between the ages of three and seven, but sometimes they are diagnosed later in childhood

Last year, 162,000 patients received at least one prescription for ADHD medication, an increase of nearly 53% from the 106,000 patients identified in 2015.

Speaking to medical magazine Pulse, GPs claimed many patients were diagnosed with ADHD by private clinics and then approached NHS services to demand prescriptions and ask for monitoring.

ADHD is a mental disorder that affects behavior. People with the condition feel restless, may have difficulty concentrating, and may act impulsively.

The exact cause is unknown, but the condition has been shown to run in families.

Research also suggests that there are differences in the brains of people with ADHD compared to those without.

Most cases are diagnosed in children between the ages of three and seven, but sometimes they are diagnosed later in childhood.

People with ADHD may also have additional problems such as trouble sleeping and anxiety.

Professor Azeem Majeed, a public health expert at Imperial College London, said many adults are now also being diagnosed.

He said: “NHS waiting lists for ADHD assessment are very long, sometimes years, and so many people with possible ADHD symptoms turn to private clinics for a diagnosis.

“This in turn puts more pressure on GPs, as private clinics often don’t offer the same level of support as NHS clinics.”

Bromley-by-Bow Health partner GP Dr Selvaseelan Selvarajah in Tower Hamlets, London, told Pulse: “We have seen a rapid increase in the number of patients coming to us with suspected ADHD.

“Many go to private psychiatrists. They come back to us for the drugs started by the psychiatrists, and we have to continue those and regularly monitor the patients as well.

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