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New Research: Kids' Consumption of Chronic Medications on the Rise
Date:5/19/2010

ORLANDO, Fla., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In growing numbers, children across America are adding a dose of medicine to their daily routine.  In 2009, drug trend for children – a measure of prescription spending growth – increased 10.8 percent, driven by a 5 percent increase in drug utilization and higher medication costs, according to the Medco 2010 Drug Trend Report.  The growth in prescription drug use among children was nearly four times higher than the rise seen in the overall population.

A corresponding analysis of pediatric medication use found that in 2009, more than one in four insured children in the U.S. and nearly 30 percent of adolescents (10-19 year olds) took at least one prescription medication to treat a chronic condition; the most substantial increases were seen in the use of antipsychotic, diabetes and asthma drugs over the past nine years.

"While H1N1 caused a spike in antiviral use among children last year, the far more alarming trend since the beginning of the decade is the increasing use of medications taken by children on a regular basis and in some cases, for conditions that we don't often associate with youth, such as type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Robert S. Epstein, Medco's chief medical officer and president of the Medco Research Institute.  "The fact that one-in-three adolescents are being treated for a chronic condition points to the need for additional health education and lifestyle changes that can address the obesity issue that is likely a driving force behind such conditions as type 2 diabetes and even asthma."

Type 2 Diabetes Continues Climbing in Kids

Type 2 diabetes medication use by juveniles increased 5.3 percent in 2009, the largest increase across all age
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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