New Survey Shows Nearly 3 Out of 4 Children Treated for ADHD Have Taken a “Drug Holiday”

National VAYA™ Pharma Survey Reveals Drug Holidays are Mostly Prompted by Physicians and the Desire to Reduce Medication Side Effects

BALTIMORE, May 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Approximately 6.4 million children in the U.S. are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and more than 60 percent of these children are taking prescription medication, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A “drug holiday” refers to a structured treatment interruption of medication at the direction of a physician. Findings from a recent online survey, which polled 501 U.S. parents of children with ADHD, revealed the majority of drug holidays are prompted by physicians and are used to help reduce the side effects of ADHD prescription medications. The survey was conducted on behalf of VAYA Pharma.

An infographic accompanying this announcement is available at

Findings at a Glance
ADHD and Prescription Medication

  • 61% of parents reported that their child currently takes prescription medication to treat ADHD with another 24% of parents reporting that their child has taken medication in the past
  • Among the 15% of parents who said their child has never taken prescription medication, half of these parents said it is because they are worried about the medication’s side effects; and
    • 13% of parents said their child’s physician does not recommend medication
  • 28% of parents with a child who took ADHD medication in the past, reported their child couldn’t tolerate the side effects of the medication

Drug Holidays

  • Nearly three out of four (74%) parents reported giving their child a drug holiday from his or her prescription medication
    • Parents shared that they give their child a drug holiday over summer break from school (43%), over the weekend (38%), over a holiday (27%), during a family vacation (20%) and when their child asks for a break (10%)
    • The majority of parents reported giving their child with ADHD a drug holiday because their child’s physician instructed them to take a break from the medication (54%) and to help reduce the side effects of the medication (54%)
    • 27% of parents give their child a drug holiday to help the medication work better
    • 11% of respondents give their child a drug holiday to help save money

Medical Foods
Summer vacation can provide an opportunity for parents to try a non-drug approach to managing ADHD that works by addressing a distinct nutritional deficiency. In fact, 84 percent of parents surveyed would be willing to use a medical food to help manage their child’s ADHD. A medical food is a special category of foods intended for use only under the supervision of a physician to address the specific dietary management of a disease or health condition.

“This survey helps us gain a better understanding of how parents are using medications to treat their child’s ADHD and their willingness to broaden their approach to address a nutritional deficiency associated with ADHD,” said Rob Crim, CEO of VAYA Pharma. “Decisions about changing a child’s course of treatment, including taking a drug holiday, must always be done under the care of a physician. We look forward to educating families about the nutritional benefits of our medical food.”  

About Medical Foods and Vayarin®
Medical foods are formulated to manage distinct nutritional deficiencies, which have been established by medical evaluation and are associated with certain diseases and health conditions. VAYA Pharma’s Vayarin® is a medical food in capsule form clinically shown to safely and effectively reduce hyperactivity and restlessness in children with ADHD and improve quality of life with virtually no side effects.

Vayarin’s proprietary fat (lipid) molecule is composed of phosphatidylserine (PS) attached to a long-chain omega-3 rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This unique structure is already found in the body and helps deliver essential nutrients directly to the brain. VAYA Pharma sells Vayarin with a physician prescription and directs all patients to use Vayarin under a doctor’s supervision.

Survey Methodology
Wakefield Research conducted the VAYA Pharma Survey for VAYA™ Pharma, an innovator of lipid-based medical foods that are used to manage nutritional deficiencies associated with certain diseases and health conditions, including ADHD. The online survey, conducted in March 2016, included 501 U.S. parents who have children with ADHD. Parents were ages 18 and older.

For more information about the VAYA Pharma survey and to learn more about Vayarin, visit  

VAYA Pharma
VAYA Pharma, a division of Enzymotec Ltd (NASDAQ:ENZY), is the innovator of lipid-based medical foods that are used to manage nutritional deficiencies associated with certain diseases and health conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), early memory impairment (EMI) and hypertriglyceridemia. Committed to safety and efficacy, VAYA Pharma’s innovations – Vayarin®, Vayacog® and Vayarol® – are backed by years of clinical research. Its products are available in the U.S. by prescription under the supervision of a physician. VAYA Pharma is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements related to VAYA Pharma’s business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals. The words "may," "will," "should," "plans," "explores," "expects," "anticipates," "continue," "estimate," "project," "intend" and similar expressions, identify forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, but their absence does not mean that the statement is not forward-looking. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include changes in sales volumes, production problems and foreign exchange fluctuations as well as regional, national or global political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory conditions. Other factors are more fully detailed in Enzymotec, Ltd.’s annual form 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. VAYA Pharma expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in the company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances upon which any statement is based.




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