Friday, May 28, 2010

Drugs for Kids: Biggest Growth in Pharma Sales

According to Reuters:

...The pharmacy benefit manager Medco reports that the fastest growth sector in pharmaceuticals is chronic-use drugs for children. Increase in presciption drug use was four times higher in kids than among the general population, with one in four kids overall, and 30 percent of adolescents, now taking some sort of medication chronically.

The big areas of growth were drugs for diabetes (blamed on the obesity epidemic) and antipsychotics (due in part to a cutback in the use of antidepressants among children with FDA black box warnings about antidepressants in kids, and an apparent felt need to switch the kids to different medicines rather than use non-medication approaches to behavior problems). Drugs for ADHD actually grew more in young adults than in kids.

The Medco folks expressed surprise at these figures and warned of increasing health care costs in the future as these kids reach adulthood--and presumably continue to need their drugs.


Joseph P. Arpaia, MD said...


Increase in medications for diabetes in kids.

Increase in antipsychotic medications in kids.

Fact: Antipsychotics increase weight gain which causes diabetes and some may directly cause diabetes.

Is the medical profession even useful anymore?

Tyson said...

It is unfortunate, but a very good point to discuss.

Mike said...

I also heard that ADHD was the most falsely diagnoses for children as well.