Cultures come to understand diagnoses differently. Throughout much of the world, for example, understanding and perception of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a condition that can adversely affect the behaviors and potential of both children and adults, is still evolving.
“There are those,” says Maria Tornsen, who leads Shire’s International Disease Awareness and Commercial Excellence program, “who question whether ADHD is a genuine medical condition. Such ambiguity deepens the challenge for people living with the disorder.”
Recently, with the hope of supporting a broader understanding of ADHD, Shire launched a new program called the “Excellence in ADHD Patient Group Awards.” The goal, says Tornsen, is to recognize best practices and excellence in the field of ADHD advocacy by providing three unrestricted grants of 10,000 euros each to outstanding projects initiated by patient advocacy groups outside of the US and UK. All
projects must have been initiated in 2013. None may promote a specific medication.
“There are countless patient advocacy groups working tirelessly on behalf of ADHD patients and their caregivers all around the world,” says Tornsen. “These groups do a tremendous job of spreading positive messages about ADHD and changing the perspectives of the general public, media, and healthcare professionals. As a company that cares deeply about its patients, Shire wants to help those who are helping others. We also want to be recognized as a credible partner in our efforts to support individuals with the disorder.”
“We’re not aware of any similar program dedicated to supporting ADHD advocacy groups. We look forward to what we can learn from the process and the groups themselves. We hope to continue to change perspectives about an important condition.”
Maria Tornsen, International Disease Awareness and Commercial Excellence program Lead
With applications arriving from around the world, the panel of judges is set to deliberate. The panel, which includes international experts in mental health, patient advocacy, policy and education, consists of the following representatives:
According to Tornsen, the Awards program has captured the interest of numerous organizations around the world.
“At Shire we really are leading the way with this disease awareness initiative,” says Tornsen. “We’re not aware of any similar program dedicated to supporting ADHD advocacy groups. We look forward to what we can learn from the process and the groups themselves. We hope to continue to change perspectives about an important condition.”