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March 21st 2000 - 10:30 p.m. GMT
Updated March 30th 2000

Ritalin SR™ Now Available In The UK has been advised by Andrea Bilbow of ADD Information Services that slow release Ritalin (Ritalin SR™) is now available in the United Kingdom from BR Pharma International Ltd., in London.

BR Pharma International Ltd. are a pharmaceutical wholesaler and has learnt that they have worked hard for and gained the agreement of the Medicine Control Agency and have obtained all the necessary permits from the Home Office to make distribution of Ritalin SR™ legal in this Country. The drug itself has still yet to be fully registered in the United Kingdom but it is now perfectly legal for it to be prescribed by Consultants, GP's and to be obtained by pharmacists on a named patient basis.

Apparently all a pharmacist has to do is to fax a photocopy of the original prescription to BR Pharma International on 020 8207 5557 (Tel:020 8207 0770) BR Pharma and Ritalin SR™ can be sent by special next day delivery.

At present Ritalin SR™ is only available in packs of 100 tablets, which is approximately 2 to 3 months supply for the average patient. It is a little more expensive than ordinary Ritalin but is much more efficient. The effects of slow release Ritalin last for approximately 8 hours compared to 3 hours for ordinary Ritalin. This could be of tremendous help to those children who previously needed to obtain midday medication at school. This will release schools from the responsibility of administering and storing the medication all together. Adult sufferers may also benefit by having medication that will last the day rather than worrying about medicating half way through as at present, particularly as ADDers are not always so hot on the remembering front.

Unfortunately BR Pharma Int. Ltd. is not allowed to advertise Ritalin SR and therefore not allowed to send information to anyone. The MCA will also not even allow them to provide information leaflets with the drugs they send out, saying it is the responsibility of the Consultants/GP's to provide this. has however managed to obtain a leaflet which you can view by clicking here.

We asked a leading ADHD specialist in the UK, Dr. Geoffrey Kewley of The Learning Assessment Centre, for his reaction to the news about Ritalin SR™ and he gave us the following comment:

"It is a very helpful move that Ritalin SR™ is now available in the UK. It would be very helpful if some of the other long acting preparations, such as Adderall that are available in North America were also available in the UK. Adderall, for example, now has 25% of the overall market for ADHD medications in North America.

Long acting preparations have a very important place in the effective management of children with ADHD, especially the adolescents, where there is either oppositionality to taking medication, difficulties in fitting into the school routine and/or the fact that they forget it. It can make a great difference to such people to be effectively managed with the long acting preparation. I am very pleased that these are now starting to become available.
Consultant Paediatrician."

We have had a two emails from people who have said that Ritalin SR™ has not worked for them and have gone back to ordinary Ritalin. Apparently it is not uncommon for both to be prescribed together i.e. ordinary Ritalin at the beginning of the day, Ritalin SR for the main part of the day. As with all medications, you must always consult with your physician on any alterations/combination possibilities.

On a final note, we have heard that BR Pharma International Ltd., are hoping to import Adderall into the UK in 3 or 4 weeks time.

Simon Hensby for

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