(HealthDay News) – For young children, the usage and cost of antibiotics is considerably higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Pharmacotherapy.
Hershel Jick, MD, from the Boston University School of Medicine in Lexington, MA, and colleagues utilized two prospectively designed and documented electronic medical databases to follow about 160,000 young children (<10 years) enrolled in U.S. private health insurance companies and an equal number in general practices in the United Kingdom in 2009.
The researchers found that the proportion of children prescribed one or more antibiotics was approximately 75% in the United States and an estimated 50% in the United Kingdom. Compared with the United Kingdom, the annual cost was more than five times higher in the United States.
“The usage and cost of antibiotics in young privately insured children is far higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom, where the government pays the cost of prescription drugs,” the authors write.