Younger American Drug Prescriptions Soar

October 29, 2002 ( - Prescription drug spending for infants, children, adolescents and young adults has increased 85% over the last five years.

Young patients are surpassing senior citizens and baby boomers as the fastest-growing segment of consumer prescription drugs, according to Medco’s 2002 Drug Trend Report.  

Half a million people under age 19 were researched.   Prescription spending increased 28% in 2001 for this group, compared to a 23% increase for the 35-49 age group and less than a 10% increase for those 65 and older.  

The report points to pediatric patients taking more medications for longer periods.   Specifically, an increase in prescriptions for:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Anti-infectives

Medco went on to say generic drugs could be utilized to reduce cost, providing the same desired effect as their brand-name counterparts.   Healthcare plans that promote generic drugs can save as much as 5% on pharmacy health care benefits.