Trends of Outpatient Prescription Drug Utilization in US Children, 2002–2010
Chai G et al. – Changes in the patterns of pediatric drug utilization were observed from 2002 to 2010. Changes include a decrease in antibiotic use and an increase in attention–deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication use during the examined time. This article provides an overview of pediatric outpatient drug utilization, which could set the stage for further in–depth analyses.Methods
- Large prescription databases (the IMS Vector One: National and Total Patient Tracker) were used to examine national drug utilization patterns for the US pediatric population (ages 0–17 years) from 2002 through 2010.
- In 2010, a total of 263.6 million prescriptions were dispensed to the US pediatric population, 7% lower than in 2002, while prescriptions dispensed to the adult population increased 22% during the same time.
- Analysis of pediatric drug utilization trends for the top 12 therapeutic areas in 2010 compared with 2002 showed decreases in systemic antibiotics (–14%), allergies (–61%), pain (–14%), depression (–5%), and cough/cold without expectorant (–42%) prescriptions, whereas asthma (14%), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (46%), and contraceptive (93%) prescriptions increased.
- In 2010, amoxicillin was the most frequently dispensed prescription in infants (aged 0–23 months) and children (aged 2–11 years).
- Methylphenidate was the top prescription dispensed to adolescents (aged 12–17 years).
- Off-label use was identified, particularly for lansoprazole; -358000 prescriptions were dispensed in 2010 for infants <1 year old.