Spotlight: the story behind the ADHD prescribing surge

In June 2023, The Pharmaceutical Journal revealed that the number of adults in England prescribed medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has more than doubled since January 2020.

The increase, which was particularly pronounced in females, has been largely fuelled by increasingly frequent opportunities for adults to pinpoint the symptoms of ADHD in themselves, either as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns or owing to growing awareness of famous faces recounting their own ADHD diagnoses.

While the added demand is already seeing patients wait years for treatment from over-extended NHS services for the condition, experts say ADHD is still vastly underdiagnosed.

In this episode of The PJ Pod, executive editor Carolyn Wickware and senior features editor Dawn Connelly take a closer look at the prescribing data and talk about what this increase in diagnoses means for patients and the NHS going forward.