Little pharma: The medication of U.S. children


In 2014, a study was carried out courtesy of IMS health. In this research, it was discovered that 25% of children in the U.S are on regular medications. "IMS is a pharmaceutical marketing brand whose job is to keep the $800 billion per year global pharmaceutical industry on a continued pattern of growth", source Hopefully these consultants accomplished something quite different this time around. Hopefully they provided our citizens with an overdue wake-up call.

It was noticed in the research that one in every four children residing in the U.S suffered from chronic prescriptions of medications. This research did not take in cognizance all the prescriptions that are written to treat acute illness, or the use and administration of over-the-counter products. This is indeed an outstanding number. After a careful look at the data from the research, we can conclude that either we have the sickest pediatric populations in the world or there is something that is causing the series of complaints generated from the way the therapies are driven in our healthcare system.

In their article, WSJ went ahead to discuss some of the very significant concerns generated on the situation such as how difficult it was for people to run clinical studies on children and also how trustworthy the pharmaceutical data could be, including the side effects and dosing. Some of these results were drawn from the adult population and applied to the case of children. This reason alone calls for a situation to doubt the authenticity of the results produced since it is quite confusing.

In the U.S, one in four children is on chronic medications!

Data generated from the research carried out by the IMS Health has revealed that 6.5 million children are on antipsychotics, 10 million on antidepressants, 24 millions on ADHD and 45 million are suffering from asthma. There are also some figures showing children that suffer from or use medications for sleep aids, antihypertensives, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, and the list keeps getting more and more complex.

At this juncture, it will be normal if we pause to ask ourselves some vital questions;

  • Is there a need to doubt the integrity of the diagnostic criteria used in reaching these conclusions? No.
  • Do we have any reason to question the prescription of these medications know if they are really designed for the condition or not? Yes.
  •  Is it true that the doctors rely on the diagnosis and treatment free of bias and conflict of interests? NO.
  • Is there any way our third party insurers reimburse the psychologists and physicians in a manner that mood disorders, attentional conditions and other medical conditions in the psychoeducational realm are likely to be evaluated and controlled by the most appropriate professionals? NO.

A careful look at the situation at hand revealed to us that, most of the children are benefiting from the long term medications. These medications can be life changing for the child in question.



If we must take a careful look at the ongoing healthcare debate in the country, then there is a great need to take a close look at their consequences too. This is because these data from the pharmaceutical industry shows the degree to which we medicate our children’s way to health.

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