(RxWiki News) The numbers of children being treated for asthma are going up - and so is the cost of their medication. Annual asthma drug expenses have more than doubled over a 10-year period.
With about seven million children affected by asthma in the United States, this means a big dent in the healthcare budget for a lot of families.
"Check into pharma assistance programs to reduce asthma medication costs"
The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality compared data from the 10-year period between 1997-98 and 2007-08. During that time, the percentage of American children being treated for asthma increased from 4.7 percent to 6.1 percent.
At the same time, the average annual prescription drug expenses for a child with asthma increased from $349 to $838. The overall healthcare cost for a child with asthma also increased, by 37 percent from $1,827 to $2,503.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood, and a leading cause of school absenteeism, with an estimated 14.4 million lost school days per year. Children in the age group of five to 11 years old are more likely to be treated for asthma than those aged 12 to 17.
There are some low-cost and no-cost options to help pay for the costs of asthma medication. The American Lung Association lists the following resources:
- The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can be reached by calling 1-888-4PPA-NOW.
- Rx Outreach also provides information on their website: www.rxoutreach.com.
- Patient Services Incorporated: http://www.uneedpsi.org/cms400min/index.aspx.
- Most Pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance programs as well.