An analysis by Medco Health Solutions found that the number ofchildren aged 19 and younger taking specialty drugs to treatrheumatoid arthritis (RA) has soared by 133% in the past 2 years,and spending on these medications has grown by 160%. The analysis,which compared the prescription data of children aged 19 andyounger over the first 6 months of 2004 with the same time periodin 2002, indicated that the rate of increase of spending on RA drugsfor children has exceeded that of human growth hormone therapy.
Furthermore, spending on RA specialty medications is nowhigher than for any other biotech category. For example, for thefirst time, RA drugs have surpassed multiple sclerosis drugs. RAspecialty medications have also shown the greatest increase incosts, making up 44% of the drug trend for the whole specialtycategory in 2004.