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Hayes Evaluates Test and Treatment Options For Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Press Release: 19 August 2008
More clinical research needed to recommend most ADHD treatments Stimulant drugs and atomoxetine show promise in relieving symptoms in children

Hayes Inc., an industry leader in providing independent, unbiased analyses of healthcare technologies, today announced that it has completed an exhaustive study of a wide range of medications to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study was undertaken in response to significant customer interest in gaining a better understanding of those treatments that really work to relieve symptoms in ADHD sufferers.

ADHD is a common disorder of childhood and adolescence that may persist into adulthood and is characterized by symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity with symptoms lasting for at least 6 months and to an extent that is inconsistent with development level. It is estimated that up to 5% of the world’s population suffers from ADHD.

Over the past three months, Hayes medical research analysts have reviewed the clinical evidence regarding a range of ADHD treatments for adults and children, including the use of stimulants, antidepressants, antihypertensives, and atomoxetine, a nonstimulant drug approved for treatment of ADHD. The results are not promising. Of the treatments evaluated, only one type of drug, stimulants, was given an “A” Hayes Rating for use in children and a “B” Rating for use in adults. One other drug, atomoxetine, was given a “B” Rating for use in children.

The Hayes Rating is a proprietary rating system with each rating reflecting the strength and direction of the evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of a medical technology (procedure, test, device, biologic, or drug), its impact on health outcomes, indications for use, patient selection criteria, and comparison with other technologies. Ratings are scaled A, established benefit, through D, no proven benefit and/or not safe.

Hayes | Personalized Medicine: What Does the Evidence Tell Us? |


In case you're unfamiliar, the Hayes GTE Rating is a graded system based on the quality of the scientific evidence as it applies to a specific application: Hayes Rating A: Consistent, well-designed, usually prospective studies ...

Elisabeth Houtsmuller, PhD, Medical Research Analyst for Hayes, Inc., directed the evidence analysis for the ADHD project, and notes that “Healthcare payers and providers are grappling with the best techniques for treating ADHD as knowledge of this disruptive and sometimes debilitating disease spreads. Unfortunately, in most cases, current evidence is limited and further studies are needed before these drugs can be unequivocally recommended for use.”

In addition, Hayes reviewed the effectiveness of neuropsychological testing for diagnosis of ADHD, finding that these tests do not have strong predictive value for ADHD diagnosis. Accordingly, neuropsychological testing was rated “D” for ADHD.

Houtsmuller added, “Unfortunately for sufferers of ADHD and their families, there are few clear conclusions that can be drawn from the research to date on the best treatment options. In the case of stimulant treatment for children, clinical studies do demonstrate short-term relief, but many families have concerns about administering stimulants to children. In these cases, atomoxetine represents a good option, with clinical evidence demonstrating some effectiveness.”

Hayes conducts its research by thoroughly analyzing all peer-reviewed clinical studies and determining if studies were designed appropriately, if enough patients were involved, and if the studies answered critical questions about whether the treatments work or improve patient care.

About Hayes, Inc.
Hayes, Inc. provides unbiased, evidence-based research and analysis to help insurers, hospitals, and policy makers make informed healthcare decisions. The company’s conclusions are independent, impartial, and objective, formulated by an international staff of medical analysts drawn from a range of healthcare disciplines.

Hayes research products and advisory services are used by some of the world’s leading healthcare organizations. More than 65% of U.S. healthcare insurers serving approximately 150 million lives depend on Hayes research when developing coverage policies. In addition, Hayes research also supports hospitals making health technology acquisition decisions and employers helping employees make better informed healthcare choices.

Hayes, Inc. was founded by Winifred S. Hayes, PhD, in 1989 and is headquartered in suburban Philadelphia.

For more information go to

Press Contact:
Joe Crivelli
Gregory FCA
27 West Athens Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
610-642-8253 ext. 123

Company Contact:
Karen Matthias
Hayes, Inc.
157 South Broad Street.
Lansdale, PA 19446

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