Last November, Shire brought together at an expert roundtable in Brussels academics, patient organizations and other stakeholder groups in mental health and education to examine the impact, cost and long-term outcomes of ADHD in Europe.
The event was the culmination of an 18-month period of working with each of the participants to generate new ADHD impact data and raise awareness of ADHD in EU policy circles. This new data shows that ADHD not only has a significant impact on patients and their families, it also illuminates the impact of ADHD on society in a broader sense.
“We were brave and transparent enough to invite all the stakeholders we’d had bilateral relationships with to attend the Expert Round Table event,” says European Head of Government Relations and Public Affairs Emmanuel Chantelot. “We took a back seat and brought in an independent moderator to create a forum for dialogue. The conclusion was that a multi-stakeholder call for action to better recognize and manage ADHD is necessary, and a European White Paper has been developed on the basis of expert recommendations at the roundtable.”
The White Paper, which will be launched to policy makers and the media in April, has been written by three of the speakers at the event, and contains contributions from patient advocates and representatives from different mental health and education organizations that were present. As well as being a major reference document, it is hoped it will draw appropriate attention to ADHD across Europe, and push ADHD up the mental health, education and social inclusion policy agendas.
Bringing together so many stake- holders and allowing such an important consensus to form around new evidence shows how seriously the company takes its advocacy role.
“This is not about a commercial venture,” says Emmanuel. “It’s about giving a voice to the experts and to those who wouldn’t otherwise have one. Ultimately, we’re helping people with life- altering conditions lead better lives.”