New BC PharmaCare Coverage Discriminatory to Adults with ADHD

On April 18th BC PharmaCare announced that it was expanding its existing coverage of medications for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the paediatric population only. Three long acting ADHD medications (Adderall XR, Vyvanse and Strattera) will be added under the Special Authority (SA) program. CADDRA and CADDAC along with BC medical practitioners welcome these expanded medication options for children. However, British Columbia continues to lag significantly behind other provinces by denying coverage to individuals over 19, thereby discriminating against adults with ADHD.

Read More on our Blog
May 2, 2017 Media Release

Education Ministry Special Education Guidelines Will Recognize ADHD under the Learning Disorder Category

A new Huffington Post article is talking about changes coming to the BC Special Education Guidelines that will allow students with ADHD, who present learning needs, to be identified under the learning disability (LD) category. This may not seem like a huge change, but parents of children with ADHD in BC and CADDAC have long been advocating for this change. In fact, CADDAC has been advocating for this change to occur in Ontario since our inception in 2005. For more information on why this is important and what is happening in Ontario please acess out Blog Post.

If your child with ADHD is struggling at school and continues to be denied an IEP or recognition as an exceptional student in the Ontario School System and you would like to share your story with us to further advocacy efforts in Ontario, please contact

Access the Huffington Post article HERE

CBC's Documentary “ADHD: Not Just for Kids”

On Thursday March the 16th at 8pm, CBC’s The Nature of Things will debut a documentary on Adult ADHD. The documentary “ADHD: Not Just for Kids” features adults sharing their storey of a lifelong struggle with ADHD symptoms and how they felt after receiving a diagnosis. ADHD medical experts and researchers discuss many aspects of adult ADHD; that in most cases symptoms are not outgrown, that it continues to go undiagnosed, that it is over-represented in the prison population and still often missed in girls. New research and the impact of ADHD on families and society at large will also be covered.
For more information access CBC Documentary

Interested in adult and adolescent ADHD? Join us for our full day Workshop

CBC’s “Out in the Open” on Adult ADHD

This past Sunday CBC’s “Out in the Open” with Piya Chattopadhyay featured a great show on hidden disabilities including a segment on adult ADHD. Piya interviewed Russ LeBlanc, CADDAC’s communication/media consultant. Russ feels the most important thing is that people understand it is real and does exist. “I term it as the Rodney Dangerfield of disorders. It gets no respect”, stated Russ.

Join us at our up-coming Adult/Adolescent ADHD Workshop this April the 9th and meet Russ.
Access our Blog Post on the interview
To listen to the interview access, CBC’s “Out in the Open”

Study Looking at Brain Scans of Those with ADHD

Results of the largest ADHD brain imaging study of its kind was released in The Lancet Psychiatry. MRIs of 1713 people with ADHD were compared to a control group of 1529 people without ADHD, between the ages of 4 and 63, across 9 countries.For more information access the CADDAC Blog.  
To access a live interview Here.

Intuniv Feedback Survey

CADDAC had been asked to gather feedback from caregivers on their children's experiences with Intuniv. We will be submitting this information to the Ontario Ministy of Health who will be assessing the uses, benefits and any issues with Intuniv in the treatment of ADHD. No identifying information will be kept or submitted.

If your child is on Intuniv to treat their ADHD, as the only medication or as an additional medication, please help us to advocate for better patient care by taking a few minutes to fill out this brief survey.

Please access this link for the survey INTUNIV SURVEY

Adolescent & Adult ADHD Workshop Featuring Dr. Umesh Jain April 9th

CADDAC will be presenting a full day workshop geared to adolescents, their parents, adults and their families, and medical professionals. For more details access Workshop

Parent  Education Program March 18th and 19th

Join us for a two day parent educations program that has been described by parents as being "very valuable", "very educational and inspiring", "life altering and what's even more important, without your help this info would most likely have taken me years to discover".
For detials please access PREP Program

Follow-up from Health Canada regarding Generic Forms of Concerta

This past week, a follow-up letter was received from Marion Law, the Director General of Health Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) addressing discussions during the Oct 31 meeting with Janssen, CADDAC and ADHD medical experts. For a full report on what Health Canada is monitoring, will be reviewing and research that it is waiting for, please access the CADDAC Blog.

Recent Meeting with Health Canada Regarding Generic Concerta

On October the 31st CADDAC and CADDRA as well as other stake holders met with Health Canada to present our activities over the past six years and express our continued concerns in regards to the bioequivalency, or more accurately the lack of therapeutic equivalence, of the generic forms of the brand name ADHD medication Concerta.
For a full report access the CADDAC Blog 

FDA Announcement on Generic Concerta Products

Since CADDAC continues to receive feedback from our stakeholders about reduced symptom coverage and/or increased side effects they are experiencing with the generic forms of Concerta available in Canada we are keeping you updated on what is occurring south of the border and in Canada on this issue.

Access our Blog for this information

CBC Radio's "The Current" Interview on ADHD in the Canadian Justice System

The content of CADDAC’s new paper on the impact of ADHD in the Canadian Justice system was recently featured on CBC Radio’s “The Current”. The half hour segment featured three interviews: a young offender diagnosed after several incarcerations, Heidi Bernhardt our Executive Director, and a lawyer who has worked with clients impacted by ADHD. Access this LINK to listen to the interview or read the transcript. Please spread the word far and wide by sharing the link with everyone you know.

Interview with CFAX 1070 - Victoria on ADHD in the Justice System

Access the live interview HERE

Interview on CJOB Winnipeg with Geoff Currier
ADHD in the Justice System

Access the live interview HERE
2016 ADHD Awareness Campaign
ADHD in the Canadian Justice System

The Center for ADHD Canada is drawing attention to an issue of importance that has long been ignored by the Canadian justice system. Incident rates of ADHD in the correctional population are 5 times greater than what we see in the community and ten times greater for youth. Yet little has been done to introduce assessment and treatment protocols within justice and correctional systems across Canada. This is occurring even though research and on site experience has shown there are significant benefits to doing so.

CADDAC is launching a new paper, “The Benefits of Recognizing and Treating ADHD in Canadian Justice and Corrections Systems” (FRENCH), and sharing it with Ministries of Justice and Corrections, law/bar associations, and courts with the hope that increased awareness will result in a dialogue on the implementation of screening, assessment and treatment of this disorder throughout the  system. Even though this topic may make some in the ADHD community uncomfortable CADDAC feels that it is high time that we shine a light on this issue so better solutions can be found. Research has shown us that the benefits of treatment far outweigh the benefits of punishment for everyone involved.  

Early detection and treatment of ADHD would benefit offenders and society, and reduce costs to the justice system by:

* Potentially altering a youth’s trajectory into offending by early intervention
* Reducing substance abuse, criminal behaviour by 32-41%, and recidivism
   by 30%
* Improving disruptive behaviour and aggression in inmates while incarcerated
   with the added benefit of reducing additional time on their sentences.
* Improving treatment for coexisting mental health disorders, suicidality and
   substance abuse, which commonly co-occur with ADHD and are much more
   effectively treated if ADHD is treated first
* Allowing for better access to rehabilitation and education programs when

In summary, the reduction in criminal behaviour, improved behaviour while incarcerated and improved overall rehabilitation of inmates will increase their and their family’s quality of life, reduce costs to the justice system, benefit the communities they return to and Canadian society in general.

Access our Key Messages HERE French
Access our Media Release HERE French
Access our Key Messages PPT with messages for officers, lawyers, courts and correction systems HERE

Participate in the 2016 ADHD Challenge

Help raise ADHD awareness, show off your skills and help raise funds for ADHD Awareness and advocacy work across Canada, all at the same time! 
The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) urges every Canadian to participate in a challenge of their choice for the month of October in an effort to raise awareness of ADHD and help raise funds for ADHD awareness and advocacy work across Canada.  Whether you are 6, 16 or 60+ we want you to decide on a personal challenge that you want to complete during the month of October, ADHD Awareness Month, and complete the challenge with the support of your sponsors.  
Step 1
Decide on a challenge.
Challenges could include:
* Something physical like, running, biking, swimming or Yoga (e.g. 20 minutes
   or aerobic exercise each day) 
* Something more cerebral like meditation, or mindfulness (e.g. 10 minutes
   twice a day) 
* Something educational like reading or, creative like painting or writing ( read
   a book each week, chapter every night) 
The list is endless
Step 2
Go to the CADDAC web site and register your challenge
Step 3
Use our ADHD Awareness tools, fact sheets, info graphics, posters and recording to educate your friends and family about ADHD.
Step 4 (Optional)
Ask your family and friends to log onto the CADDAC web site, and donate a small amount (2, 5, 10, 20 dollars) to sponsor your challenge and help support ADHD awareness and advocacy efforts.
(CADDAC is not a charity, but rather a national not-for-profit, so charitable receipts will not be issued)  
Join the online discussion about ADHD and your challenges on our Facebook page.  
The most creative ideas will be posted on our Facebook page.
All participants who wish their names to be shared will be officially thanked on the CADDAC web site and all participants will receive a certificate of participation and appreciation. 
To register your challenge click HERE
To sponsor a participant click HERE
Event page click HERE

Please Help Us Improve Our Organization

Can you spare a few minutes to take our survey Click HERE

Your Experiences When Switched to Generic ADHD Medications  

Over the past few years CADDAC has been receiving anecdotal feedback from caregivers, adults with ADHD and physicians indicating a decrease in symptom control and an increase in side effects when switched to the generic version of Concerta. Since our nation-wide survey confirmed this anecdotal feedback CADDAC will be undertaking further advocacy work on this issue. 

If you have experienced any of these issues and are willing to discuss this with us, please contact us at outlining these issues and we will arrange a time for a quick telephone chat. 

Comparing Treatment Results in Adults Switched to Generic ADHD Medication
A recently published study, “A randomized, double-blind, cross-over, phase IV trial of oros-methylphenidate (CONCERTA®) and generic novo-methylphenidate ER-C (NOVO-generic)” confirms concerns expressed to CADDAC over the past number of years by adults with ADHD, parents of children with ADHD and physicians treating patients with ADHD who have been switched to a generic medication. The objective of this study was to evaluate adult ADHD subject outcomes when they were switched from a stable dose of CONCERTA® to the same dose of generic Novo-methylphenidate ER-C®. Access detailed information HERE

BC Pharmacare Therapeutic Review Accepting Patient Submissions
Download printable document

BC PharmaCare is conducting a Therapeutic Review into the coverage of medications used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). BC Patients, caregivers and patient groups will have the opportunity to provide input as part of the process, between May 4th and June 1st, 2016 AT MIDNIGHT.

At this time in BC, Ritalin and Dexedrine – both short-acting medications – are the only fully covered treatment options. Concerta, a long-acting medication, is available but it is restricted to Special Authority requests.
That is why this Therapeutic Review is so important for patients, their caregivers and their loved ones.

How to Participate
Interested parties that meet the eligibility requirements, see below, can provide their input by visiting the Ministry of Health website and following the directions. You will be asked to give your perspective on how ADHD affects your life and the impact and benefits of the ADHD medication that you are currently taking, or have taken. Patient, caregiver and patient group eligibility requirements can be found HERE.

BC Physicians: Collective Letter to Minister Lake
Download Collective Letter

Medication treatment for ADHD is not a “one size fits all” scenario and individuals with ADHD have unique responses to different medications. It is essential that physicians can individualize treatment and prescribe as wide a group of medications as possible.

The Ministry of Health is currently conducting a review of ADHD treatment therapies. There are many clinical treatment factors to consider when making a balanced patient-centered decision about coverage. As experts and front line workers in the field BC physicians and mental health professionals believe that they should be a part of the conversation. They are requesting that a meeting be held with Minister Lake as soon as possible to discuss how experienced ADHD medical professionals will be an integral part in this review process.

If you are a medical professional in BC, we ask that you read the online collective letter to Minister Lake and, if you agree, sign the letter online by May 12th:

Up-date From Health Canada on Generic Medications

At the beginning of March CADDAC received a reply letter from Health Canada.View this letter Here.The letter reiterated what we have been told previously.Health Canada requires official reporting of a decrease in effectiveness of a generic when compared to the brand medication to scientifically validate this information. Health Canada states,"Consumers are encouraged to complete reports in conjunction with their health professional, so that additional information about their medical history can be included in order to make the reports more detailed and scientifically valid."

If you have had an issue with an ADHD or other mental health generic medication not being as effective or lasting as long as the brand name, we strongly encourage you to access our Adverse Reaction Form and Guide to assist you with submitting an online report. Also please encourage your physician to do so as well. If this reporting does not occur issues with generic medication substitution proving inferior will not be solved.

Ontario now requires that a trial on a generic or two generics, if two are available, with an adverse event (AE) report completed for each before a pharmacist will honor a "do not substitute" request from a physician for any  medication supplied by the OPDP (Ontario Public Drug Program).The physician will need to supply the patient with copies of both AE reports with the prescription in order to get full coverage of the brand medication. You can access complete details Here.

Please note: This only applies if the government pays the full price for the brand name medication. If the patient has a patient benefit card, which can be accessed through Innovicares and Rxhelp
the price of a brand product is covered and trials on generic medications are not required. For more information please access Innovicares Here ( for Concerta and Rxhelp Here ( for Strattera.

ADHD in Girls, CBC The Current Interview

This interview features Anna, a every insightful 17 year old who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 15, and Katherine Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was diagnosed at 48 and has since then authored three books on ADHD, talking about their experiences. In addition, Dr. Doron Almagor, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and chair of CADDRA, shares his extensive medical knowledge on the subject of ADHD in girls. Access the interview Here.     

2015 Survey on Experiences with Mental Health Medication/Generic Substitution

Over the past few years CADDAC has been receiving anecdotal evidence from caregivers, patients and treating physicians, indicating a decrease in the degree and length of symptom control and an increase in side effects when patients were switched from particular brand-name to generic medications. CADDAC joined in discussion with other organizations supporting those with mental health conditions to find a way to gain more insight into this potential issue. You can access the full statement outlining the organizations' understanding, agreement and goals for the survey Here

As a result a nation-wide survey was launched requesting feedback from individuals, caregivers and healthcare providers on existing knowledge and experience with brand name and generic medications.  

The survey findings have been analyzed and summarized. Here are the findings pertinent to ADHD medications and two additional medications that might be used by some of you for co-occurring conditions.

On December the 14th CADDAC sent a letter to Barbara Sabourin, the Director General of the Therapeutics Product Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada summarizing the findings of a recent joint survey  on mental health medications, and in particular issues that have been reported with generic medications. You can access the complete letter Here

Doctors Challenge BC Government to take Action on ADHD

December 08 2015 Media Release

BC Physician Advocacy Campaign

Since British Columbia is behind other provinces in providing a full range of medication treatment options for ADHD CADDAC, CADDRA and BC physicians have begun an advocacy campaign to let the BC government know that the current situation is seriously limiting treatment options for those accessing BC Pharmacare. Currently Ritalin and Dexadrine are the only medications for the treatment of individuals with ADHD fully covered by BC Pharmacare. Concerta is the only long-acting medication and it is restricted to Special Authority Request (only for the paediatric population after failing on Ritalin and Dexedrine).

Physicians with an interest in the treatment of ADHD are being asked to  write letters expressing their concern. Please access BC Pharmacare Medication Coverage for more detailed information on the current situation, a copy of the latest letter sent to Minister Lake, and the BC Letter Writing Guide to assist physicians in writing and sending a letter to the BC government.       

This site was last updated on May 2, 2017
Privacy Policy  Terms of Use