little people, big pHarma

Childhood a crisis? Get outta here. Are you serious? In the United States today, childhood could certainly be considered a crisis. The US spends significantly more on healthcare than any other nation, yet the rates of chronic and autoimmune diseases plaguing our kids has more than doubled in the past two decades. With an array of diseases affecting our kids comes an array of prescription medications developed specifically for ‘managing’ their conditions.

In fact, everyday children across America are adding a dose of medicine to their daily routine. Treatment today means taking prescription drugs, lots of them. According to the Medco 2010 Drug Trend Report, the growth in prescription drug use in children was nearly four times higher than the rise seen in the overall population. This trend, unfortunately shows no sign of stopping. Parents currently dealing with children whose conditions include diabetes, autism, allergies, asthma, obesity, and ADHD, can rest assured that Big PHarma is developing more pediatric drugs that your children supposedly need.

In 2009, the FDA expanded to pediatric patients the indications for cholesterol drugs, Welchol(R) (colesevalm HCl) and Crestor(R) (rosuvastatin); Atacand(R) (candesartan cilexetil) for hypertension; Axert(R) for migraines; heartburn treatment Protonix(R) (pantoprazole); and atypical antipsychotic medications Abilify(R) (aripriprazole), Seroquel(R) (quetieapine fumarate) and Zyprexa(R) (olanzapine).

Instead of dealing with the over-prescription of ‘drug cocktails’ our government so graciously approves of as safe, our government and the AAP actually make us believe that our children need these drugs, all of them. Just remember, the Food and Drug Administration requires the manufacturer to prove the safety of each individual drug. There are hardly any studies done showing the safety and efficacy of giving one child a combination of drugs. In fact, a surprising amount of these drugs prescribed to children haven’t even been tested for use in certain age groups. “Off-label prescribing” is a¬†common practice used by physicians to prescribe medicine to children that has only been tested and labeled for adult use.

The most recent research lists the following top ten drugs being prescribed to children without proper labeling:

Albuterol, Phenergan, Ampicillin, Auralgan, Lotison, Prozac, Intal, Zoloft, Ritalin and alupent syrup.

Childhood a crisis? In one word, yes.