AN ADHD drug rejected for a government subsidy because of “uncertain safety” in adults is being subsidised for children and was used by over 19,000 kids in the last year.
A subsidy for the medicine Concerta, a long acting form of ritalin, was recently knocked back for adults by the government’s expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee “on the basis of uncertain efficacy and safety in the proposed PBS [Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] population”.
The PBAC was also concerned about the “highly uncertain cost to the PBS” if it did subsidise the drug, otherwise known as methylphenidate, with experts speculating this could be because the medicine could potentially be diverted for illegal use.
Anti ADHD drug campaigner and WA MP Martin Whitely says it is a “seemingly absurd inconsistency that the drug is not considered safe enough for adults but is considered safe for children”.
“I argue that if Concerta isn’t proved to be safe enough for adults there is no way it should be given to children,” he said.