By Luke Whelan, editorial fellow at Mother Jones
“Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is big business. That’s the conclusion of a new report, published by the market research firm IBISWorld, which showed that ADHD medication sales have grown 8 percent each year since 2010 and will grow another 13 percent this year to $12.9 billion. Furthermore, it projects this growth will continue over the next five years at an annualized rate of 6 percent, and take in $17.5 billion in the year 2020—making it one of the top psychopharmaceutical categories on the market.
This growth does not surprise Richard Scheffler, professor of health economics and public policy at the University of California-Berkeley and coauthor of the book The ADHD Explosion. It is part of a global trend, he says, as ADHD becomes recognized as a disorder around the world, especially in cultures that put a premium on productivity and high academic achievement. Sales outside the United States—especially in Israel, China, and Saudi Arabia—are increasing twice as fast as in the United States, according to an article he penned in the Wall Street Journal with Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology and psychiatry at UC-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco.”
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