To understand attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment patterns and estimate adherence and persistence in Quebec, Canada.
This cross-sectional, retrospective prescription claims analysis used a random sample of 15 838 patients with ADHD from a Quebec database (Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec [RAMQ]) to assess treatment patterns, adherence (1-year medication possession ratio in new users), and persistence (proportion persistent at 3, 6, and 12 months after index prescription).
The mean patient age was 14 years; 72.6% were male. During the 5-year study period (2004-2009), 416 646 ADHD prescriptions were filled. Short-acting (SA) medications declined from 72.8% to 26.4% of all claims, while stimulant and nonstimulant long-acting (LA) medications increased from 27.2% to 73.6%. Approximately half of the patients used both SA and LA medications (either concomitantly or subsequently), and the others used only SA (30%) or LA (19%) drugs. Among patients using both, switching from SA to LA was the most frequent (27.9%) treatment pattern. More patients on LA methylphenidates (6.4%) compared with LA amphetamines (1.9%; P