Objective: To compare medications dispensed during the first 2 years in children born preterm and full-term.
Study design: Retrospective analysis of claims data from a commercial national managed care plan 2008-2019. 329,855 beneficiaries were enrolled from birth through 2 years, of which 25,408 (7.7%) were preterm (<37 weeks). Filled prescription claims and paid amount over 2 years were identified.
Results: In preterm children, the number of filled prescriptions was 1.4 times and cost was 3.8 times that of full-term children. Number and cost of medications were inversely related to gestational age. Differences peak at 4-9 months and resolve by 19 months after discharge. Palivizumab, ranitidine, albuterol, lansoprazole, budesonide, and prednisolone had the greatest differences in utilization.
Conclusion: Prescription medication utilization among preterm children under 2 years is driven by palivizumab, anti-reflux, and respiratory medications, despite little evidence regarding efficacy for many medications and concern for harm with certain classes.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.