May 20, 2010
By Bill Berkrot
NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) – Children were the leading growth demographic for the pharmaceutical industry in 2009, with the increase of prescription drug use among youngsters nearly four times higher than in the overall population, according to a report by Medco Health Solutions Inc
More than one in four insured children in the United States and nearly 30 percent of adolescents aged 10 to 19 took at least one prescription medicine to treat a chronic condition in 2009, according to an analysis of pediatric medication use conducted as part of Medco’s drug trend study issued on Wednesday.
Medco is forecasting overall pharmaceutical spending to rise up to 18 percent through 2012, driven by diabetes, cancer and rheumatology treatments. Spending is expected to rise 3 percent to 5 percent this year, and 4 percent to 6 percent the next two years.