-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics for
children that are covered by private insurance cost five times more
in the United States than in the United Kingdom, where costs are
covered by a government universal health plan.
That's the finding of researchers who looked at data from
160,000 U.S. and U.K. children younger than 10 years old who were
prescribed one or more drugs in 2009. Antibiotics were given to 75
percent of the U.S. children and 50 percent of the U.K.
The estimated cost of antibiotics covered by private insurers in
the United States was more than $2.4 million, compared with less
than $480,000 in the United Kingdom, according to the study, which
was published in the current online issue of the journal
The antibiotics commonly prescribed in the United States were
regularly more expensive and taken for longer lengths of time, the
The latest findings that antibiotics for children were much more
expensive in the United States than the United Kingdom are similar
to those in three previous studies, said the study's lead author,
Dr. Hershel Jick, of Boston University's Boston Collaborative Drug
The cost of prescription drugs is a major burden on the U.S.
economy, the researchers said. As the final phases of the new
health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, begin to
take effect, there has been renewed attention and debate on the
topic of health care spending in the United States.
The researchers said this type of comparison study can lead to
new policies that result in greater efficiency and major cost
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
prescription drug costs.
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