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Bremen doctors sign up to reduce drug use in ADHD patients

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 10 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d127
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

Doctors in the German state of Bremen have signed an agreement with the regional branch of the AOK, Germany’s largest public health insurer, to start a pilot project to improve the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Jörg Hermann, chairman of the Bremen Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, which coordinates payments from Germany’s public health insurance system to doctors, told the BMJ that a major goal of the programme is to reduce unnecessary prescriptions of methylphenidate (Ritalin and other formulations), to treat the disorder.

“Paediatricians and GPs have been prescribing a lot of these drugs to kids,” said Dr Hermann. “It hasn’t been necessary to be a specialist or even a …

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