gms | German Medical Science

13. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

02.11. bis 03.11.2006, Berlin

Drug market and children

Meeting Abstract

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Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 13. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Berlin, 02.-03.11.2006. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2006. Doc06gaa11

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Veröffentlicht: 30. Oktober 2006

© 2006 Gutschmidt.
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Context: The share of drug expenditure for children up to the age of 9 constitutes only 2.5% of the total market. However, in the last three years children of this age cohort received notably more drugs than in the years before. This change rate is growing faster than the rate for the average insured person in the same period.

Aim of the Study: The study describes the dynamics of the drug market in relation to children based on the data of a health care fund.

Material and Methods: Prescription data of insured AOK members between 1998 and 2005.

Results: The number of prescriptions for each child increased in 2005 to the rate of 10.4. This was the first time it lay above the average number of prescriptions. However, drugs prescribed to children are 70% cheaper than the average drug. Analysing the prescription rate in relation to a certain period of time reveals remarkable results: While prescriptions and expenditures per child have decreased from 1998 to 2001, prescriptions have increased by 30% and expenditures by 63% from 2002 to 2005. A further feature of the drug market is its homogeneity. 50% of the DDD (defined daily doses) prescribed to children are drugs against harmless colds and for prophylaxis purposes. The following changes can be observed: There is a strong decrease in prescribing fluoride drugs but still it is the third most prescribed group of substances. The most striking change rate is observed with Methylphenidate which is used for the treatment of the hyperkinetic syndrome.

Conclusion: Since 2001 there is a continuous increase in prescriptions, DDD and expenditures for children. Drugs for the treatment of common colds are still an important segment, but the noticeable increase of Methylphenidate prescriptions implies a new stage of drug treatment for children.