Medco: Rx drug use among children on the rise
ORLANDO, Fla. Prescription spending for chronic medications used by children increased 10.8% in 2009, 5% of which was triggered by drug utilization and higher medication costs, according to the Medco "2010 Drug Trend Report."
The growth in prescription drug use among children was nearly four times higher than the rise seen in the overall population, Medco said. In a corresponding analysis, Medco found that more than 1-in-4 insured U.S. children and nearly 30% of adolescents (10-19 year olds) took at least one prescription medication to treat a chronic condition in 2009; the most substantial increases were seen in the use of antipsychotic, diabetes and asthma drugs over the past nine years.
"While H1N1 caused a spike in antiviral use among children last year, the far more alarming trend since the beginning of the decade is the increasing use of medications taken by children on a regular basis and in some cases, for conditions that we don’t often associate with youth, such as type 2 diabetes," said Robert S. Epstein, Medco’s chief medical officer and president of the Medco Research Institute. "The fact that 1-in-3 adolescents are being treated for a chronic condition points to the need for additional health education and lifestyle changes that can address the obesity issue that is likely a driving force behind such conditions as Type 2 diabetes and even asthma."
MinuteClinic opens two Mass. locations
WOONSOCKET, R.I. MinuteClinic, which is owned by CVS Caremark, has expanded its Massachusetts-based clinics to 20 with Wednesday’s opening of two new locations in Hanover and Quincy.
"Since opening our first store-based clinic in Massachusetts in 2008, we have helped to expand access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care to thousands of residents who have visited us at convenient CVS/pharmacy locations near where they live and work," stated Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "We are committed to working with the medical community in Massachusetts to build on the state’s precedent-setting efforts to broaden access to quality health services."
According to MinuteClinic, it has had more than 50,000 patient visits in Massachusetts (not including flu shot visits) in less than two years. About 70% of the patients seen at MinuteClinic locations in Massachusetts do not identify a primary care provider. MinuteClinic offers those patients without a primary care provider information on nearby practices accepting new patients.
Hospira extends acquisition offer to Javelin
LAKE FOREST, Ill. Hospira has extended its $145 million offer to buy Javelin Pharmaceuticals, the generic drug maker said Wednesday.
The offer, originally made in April, was set to expire at the end of Tuesday, but will now expire at the end of June 2.
Hospira said Javelin had not satisfied all the conditions for acquisition, which Javelin said was due to a supply-chain problem with the painkiller Dyloject in the United Kingdom, though Javelin expressed disagreement with Hospira’s position.