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Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt, announces ADHD medication for adults added to the PBS – 29 January 2021

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Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt, announces ADHD medication for adults added to the PBS – 29 January 2021

From the 1st February 2021 the first long acting ADHD medication will be made available to adults on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Why does ADHD Australia support the announcement.

ADHD Australia Limited was established from a need to stand up for, and support, people impacted by ADHD in order to optimise positive outcomes for individuals, families and the community at large.

ADHD Australia is a national, independent, non-profit organisation which is committed to removing barriers to wellbeing for those people affected by ADHD, including their families, through evidence-based information, education and advocacy. We aim to create positive public awareness and improved understanding to reduce stigma associated with ADHD.

We are the national body who is advocating, with other ADHD support groups* across the country, for the equitable availability of support services and medications to all those living with ADHD no matter at what age they are diagnosed.

Background of ADHD Australia’s PBS advocacy goes back to June 2019

In June 2019 ADHD Australia wrote to Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) (CLICK HERE to view our earlier article) as part of its advocacy on behalf of all those living with ADHD in an effort to bring to the attention of PBAC the inequitable way in which some medications are being made available to one part of the ADHD diagnosed community and not another. There are some medications being provided at the discounted rate on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to individuals with ADHD just because they had their diagnosis as a child or adolescent. ADHD Australia believes that there should be no age discrimination on the PBS availability of medications stemming from the age of the individual at diagnosis.

PBS support for adults with ADHD

ADHD Australia believes that equitable access to comprehensive, multi-disciplinary care is key to ensuring that people living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are able to achieve their full potential. Unfortunately, it is only in recent times that the validity of the concept of ADHD as a legitimate and debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder has achieved mainstream medical recognition. Over the years many adults living with ADHD have mentioned, particularly in the 2020 Under the Radar survey, that there is a high economic burden for many in managing their condition.

The fact that the core deficits of ADHD pose challenges for the majority of sufferers throughout their lives is still grossly underappreciated. The net result of these factors is that many adults with ADHD were not afforded the benefit of diagnosis in their early life (childhood and adolescence).

ADHD Australia would like to thank the Federal Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt, in announcing over the weekend, the listing of this first long-active medication for those persons diagnosed as adults onto the PBS. CLICK HERE to read about Minister Hunt’s announcement on the Department of Health’s webpage.

Hon Greg Hunt

Over the last weekend of January reporter Kate Creedon, from Channel 9 News, also spoke with Jeffrey Choy, ADHD Australia Ambassador, about how early diagnosis and affordable medications would benefit many. Kate also spoke with Hon Greg Hunt who explained how the listing of this ADHD medication will assist many better the costs associated with their condition.

Jeffrey Choy

CLICK HERE to watch the announcement of the “Long lasting ADHD medication now available to adults on PBS” on Channel 9’s Sky News.

What does this announcement mean.

The announcement means that from the 1st February 2021, Vyvanse® (lisdexamfetamine dimesilate), will be the first long-acting stimulant to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australians with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who are diagnosed after the age of 18. CLICK HERE to read the media release from the manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

This is a monumental positive first step in recognising that ADHD affects both children and adults across the Australian population. The PBS listing will go a long way at alleviating some of the economic burden** many face as they live with daily managing their core symptoms.

* ADHD Australia recognises and acknowledges that many other individuals and ADHD groups have also been advocating for this change to happen to the medications for ADHD on the PBS for many years. We would also like to thank them for their hard work and persistence in making this positive change to those living with ADHD across Australia.

** ADHD Australia’s survey and subsequent report “ADHD Australia Limited (2020), ADHD Australia National Survey Report: the voice of the ADHD community” (Under the Radar report) which highlighted the Gaps and Priorities of ADHD within Australia included the costs associated with managing the condition. CLICK HERE to view the report.

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