Thursday, May 07, 2009

Autism Jumps 1148% in California

Yes, that's not a typo. According to a recent report from the State of California Department of Developmental Services, "From 1987 to 2007, the number of people with ASD [Autistic Spectrum Disorders] grew 1,148 percent, significant when compared to increases of 73 percent for cerebral palsy, 66 percent for epilepsy, and 95 percent for mental retardation. During this same period, California’s general population grew 27 percent."

Fortunately, there are several publicly traded pharmaceutical companies are trying to make a difference by discovering and producing drugs for treating autism related disorders and symptoms.

Risperidal, developed and distributed by Janssen Pharmaceutica, a division of the New York Stock Exchange traded company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), is an antipsychotic medication that is used in lower doses to treat autistic disorders and has FDA approval for use of the drug for symptomatic treatment of irritability in autistic children and teenagers, since 2006. The stock has a PE ratio of 12 and pays a yield of 3.6%.

Prozac, with the chemical name fluoxetine hydrochloride, is made by Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), also traded on the NYSE, and has been approved by the FDA for both obsessive compulsive disorder and depression in autistic children age 7 and older. The company has a forward PE of 9 and pays a yield of 5.7%.

Ritalin and the time-release drug, Concerta, is a Methylphenidate drug which, although generally used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, and attention-deficit disorder, or ADD, has also been prescribed for children with autism. It is produced by the company Novartis AG (NVS), the ADR of which trades on the NYSE; however, the generic version of the drug far outsells Ritalin. The stock has a PE ratio of 11 and pays a yield of 4.6%.

Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a division of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), is a manufacturer of Adderall XR, an extended-release drug which is used to help with attention and focus problems, and behavior issues of individuals with autism. Teva has a PE of 57 and a yield of 1.1%.

Shire plc (SHPGY) makes Adderall XR, an extended-release version of the drug. The stock has a PE of 38 and a yield of 0.3%.

When I wrote about autism stocks back in 2007, I reviewed a couple autism related books which may be worth checking out. They are The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant. For an Excel database of high yield drug stocks that can be downloaded, changed, and sorted, go to

Author has a nephew who is severely autistic and does not own any of the above stocks.


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