A study of pediatric drug utilization trends from 2002 to 2010 has revealed that there was a decrease in antibiotic use and an increase in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication use during the examined time. The study was funded by the FDA.
Researchers used dispensed prescription and patient utilization data obtained from 2 large commercial databases namely, IMS Vector One: National (VONA) and Total Patient Tracker for the analysis of prescription drug utilization trends in the U.S.
According to the researchers, the total number of prescriptions dispensed to the US pediatric population in 2010 was 263.6 million, 7% lower than in 2002. However, during the same period, the prescriptions dispensed to the adult population increased 22% to 3.3 billion prescriptions.
In 2010, the pediatric drug utilization of systemic antibiotics dropped 14%, medications for allergies were down 61%, pain drugs fell 14%, depression meds were down 5%, and cough/cold drugs dropped 42%, compared to 2002.
The most frequently dispensed prescription in infants and children in 2010 was antibiotic Amoxicillin while the top prescription dispensed to adolescents was Methylphenidate, prescribed for attention deficit disorder.
In 2010, about 70% (358,000 prescriptions) out of 515,000 prescriptions of outpatient lansoprazole prescriptions dispensed to infants were to patients aged, 1 year. Lansoprazole is used to treat gastric (stomach) ulcers, duodenal (intestinal) ulcers, reflux esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The six drug markets that had a statistically significant increasing trend in prescriptions dispensed for the years 2002 through 2010 were asthma, up 14%; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, up 46%; contraceptive, up 93%; corticosteroids dermal, up 10%; corticosteroids oral, up 22% and seizure disorder, up 10%.
The researchers concluded that identification of drugs with the highest numbers of patients exposed can help focus research efforts on those drugs that could have a large impact on the pediatric population. The study also helps identify off-label use in pediatrics, highlighting areas for further research.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
by RTT Staff Writer
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