Australia to Subsidize New ADHD Drug

A new drug for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will be listed on Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) starting July 1, the Ministry of Health and Ageing announced. The drug, Eli Lilly's Strattera, will be available for children between the ages of 6 and 18 who cannot take stimulants.

Treatment for ADHD normally involves stimulant therapy, so the listing of Strattera (atomoxetine HCl) on the PBS will especially benefit those who are unable to take stimulants, the ministry said.

Eli Lilly said that Strattera has been prescribed to approximately 2,000 ADHD patients in Australia. Strattera has been studied in children more than any other psychiatric drug, according to the company.

The Ministry of Health and Ageing estimates that 18,000 people will begin treatment with Strattera within the first full financial year of listing, adding approximately $101.2 million to PBS spending between 2007 and 2011.

On the PBS, Strattera will cost less than $30 for a month's supply, Eli Lilly said.