Prescription Use Varies by Region, Higher for Children on Medicaid

BACKGROUND: Despite the frequency of pediatric prescribing, little is known about practice differences across small geographic regions and payer type (Medicaid and commercial). Children insured under Medicaid were more likely to have higher prescription use, though regional variation was a bigger factor for differences in prescription use among children, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers examined drug prescription use for 949,821 children aged 0 to 18 years, finding 54% were covered by Medicaid and 46% by commercial insurance providers. Mean annual prescriptions were 5.5 per person-year for Medicaid patients and 3.4 per person-year for commercial patients.