Children's Behavioral Medication Costs Soar

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Medco Health Solutions 2004 DrugTrend Report has revealed eye-openingdata about medication spending totreat behavioral disorders in pediatricpatients. Specifically, spending ondrugs primarily used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder skyrocketedby 369% for children under age 5.The number of children taking 1 ormore prescription medications to treatbehavior-related conditions hit almost9% for those children taking at least 1medication overall. Other significantfindings of the analysis are as follows:

  • Prescription drug spending forbehavioral conditions rose by77% between 2000 and 2003 as aresult of increased costs and theincreased use of these medications
  • In 2003, spending on behavioralmedications to treat childrenovertook both the antibiotic andasthma categories, which are traditionallyhigh-use categories inpediatric medicine
  • The number of children takingbehavioral medications jumpedby >20% between 2000 and 2003,outpaced only by the increase inchildren on drugs to treat gastrointestinalconditions, whichincreased by 28%