Premier Kathleen Wynne has called for more evidence-based research into the safety of a new medication that has become a top priority for Ontario’s top health officials.
The $6,000 package of three stimulants, including a high-dose methylphenidate, can be given to young children and adults to help control attention and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention-related conditions.
The move comes amid a national debate over ADHD, with the number of children and adolescents diagnosed with the condition growing by more than 100 per cent over the past five years.
Wynne said in a statement Friday that “the use of stimulants is a major factor in this epidemic.”
She said she supports research to find a safe, effective way to treat the disorder.
The province is also working to create a new framework for public health in the province to ensure that “addiction is treated as a health issue, not a criminal offense.”
The Premier’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says there is too much misinformation around ADHD in Canada, but the new medication, called methylphenyltrazolam, can help reduce symptoms and improve coordination in children.
The package conciersges methylphenylalanine, a derivative of the amphetamine methylphenylethylamine (MPA).
The package concers is the second of three new stimulants to be introduced by the province this year, along with an emergency drug that has been under development for years and a pill that is being tested in trials.
The two other new medications were the tri-fluorophenoxyacetic acid (TFA) for the elderly and methylphenoacetate for the young.
The package of drugs includes a new form of methylphenamine, which can be combined with an amphetamine, to produce the same effect as methylphenethyltrazocaine (MMA).
It also includes methylphenmetrazine, the active ingredient in methylphenobarbital, an anti-epileptic.
The drugs are being tested on young people to see if they can reduce ADHD symptoms.
Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews-Cook said in an email that the government has been reviewing the risks and benefits of the new medications and that the Ontario Drug Strategy has been working to make sure they are safe and effective.
“We will continue to look at all the evidence, including the data from the National Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (NCCAM), and take any recommendations from that into consideration as we continue to strengthen our public health system,” Matthews- Cook said.
Ontary has been the subject of a nationwide investigation into ADHD, which found that the condition has increased by more a 50 per cent since 2000.
The report by the Ontario Alliance for ADHD Prevention found that nearly half of the increase in children and teens with ADHD was due to the drug’s use.More: