Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children in households receiving working-age benefits have been prescribed Ritalin in each year from 1997 to 2010; 
(2) how many children were prescribed Ritalin to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in each year from 1997 to 2010. 
Anne Milton: The Information Centre Prescribing Team has advised that this information is not available for children’s prescriptions. They have however provided information on the numbers of all Ritalin prescriptions dispensed in the community as follows:
Ritalin is a branded version of the drug Methylphenidate Hydrochloride. The following table shows the total number of items dispensed for Methylphenidate Hydrochloride overall (including Ritalin) and for Ritalin separately for individuals of all ages.
Methylphenidate Hydrochloride prescriptions dispensed in the community in England
Notes:1. Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) DataPrescription information is taken from the PCA system, supplied by the Prescription Services Division of the NHS Business Services Authority, and is based on a full analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community i.e. by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. Also included are prescriptions written in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man but dispensed in England. The data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.2. Prescribers are general practitioners, hospital doctors, dentists and non-medical prescribers such as nurses and pharmacists.3. Prescription ItemsPrescriptions are written on a prescription form. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.4. British National Formulary ClassificationsThe PCA system uses the therapeutic classifications defined in the BNF. No information on why a drug is prescribed is available and since drugs can be prescribed to treat more than one condition it is impossible to separate the different conditions that a drug was prescribed for.
Source:Prescription Cost Analysis