The Big Bucks in Keeping Kids Focused

Shire gets big profits selling ADHD drugs in the U.S. Now it wants Europeans to embrace them, too
Ten percent of American children are diagnosed with ADHD, vs. 0.4 percent of kids in Britain Photograph by Robert Daly/Getty Images

Not that long ago, if Junior didn’t pay attention in his classroom, he might be sent to the principal’s office or have his parents called in to discuss his “bad” behavior. Today such kids increasingly are being screened for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition for which diagnoses are soaring across the U.S. Characterized by inattention, overactivity, and impulsiveness, ADHD may afflict an estimated 10 percent of American kids, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and some researchers link it to drug abuse and an increased likelihood of criminal convictions in adulthood.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.