Prescriptions, costs; number of people granted Special Authority approval for ADHD medicines

OIA response

Thank you for your request dated 16 May 2022 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to medicines for ADHD. You requested:

  1. Total Cost. What are the script numbers and medication by strength costs for 2019-2021 as below (2016). Please show Concerta MPH XR (slow release alza pump) and generic MPH XR (no alza pump) not combined.
  2. Special authority Renewals
  3. Please show, by age classes and total below, for 2019-2021, how many special authorities are initial applications, how many are renewals.
  4. For the renewals please show the special authority age or year, by 5 or 10 year age classes, for 2019-2021. 

Data for your request is included with this response

I am pleased to provide you with the data for your request. Data for part 1 of your request is provided within the spreadsheet attached. Data for part 2 of your request is provided in the table below. 

Table: Number of Special Authority approvals for ADHD medicines

Year 2019 2020 2021
Age Initial Renewal Initial Renewal Initial Renewal
0-4 years 42 1 38 1 33  
5-9 years 3,000 807 3,143 864 3,316 900
10-14 years 2,328 2,894 2,432 3,102 2,958 3,348
15-19 years 1,271 1,739 1,575 1,820 2,350 2,057
20+ years 4,109 3,845 4,950 4,359 7,695 5,188

Note: data was extracted in May 2022.

I note part 2 of your request was for Special Authorities and referenced a table of data from our OIA response of 3 July 2020 (since superceded by our OIA response of 22 March 2021(external link)). The data provided in our past responses were previously mistitled as ‘Numbers of Special Authorities for ADHD medications’. The data provided was actually for the number of people dispensed stimulants/ADHD treatments(external link) (including modafinil) in each calendar year. 

The response of 3 July 2020, previously published on our website, has now been archived. We have also updated the heading for the data in the published response of 22 March 2021. Previously the heading read ‘Special Authority approvals for ADHD medicines’ however, now reads ‘Number of people dispensed sedatives/ADHD treatments’.

Please note, you have the right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman about our response to your OIA, under section 28(3) of the OIA. Details of how to make a complaint(external link) are on the Ombudsman’s website.

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.