The Prevalence and Predictors of Low-Cost Generic Program Use in the Pediatric Population

Nathan James Pauly, Jeffery Charles Talbert, Joshua David Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Low-cost generic drug programs (LCGPs) increase the accessibility and affordability in the USA of prescription medication that can treat many common pediatric conditions. No studies have assessed the prevalence and predictors of LCGP use in the pediatric population, analyzed trends in LCGP use since their implementation, or analyzed which medications are most commonly purchased for children through LCGPs. Objectives: Our objective was to determine the prevalence of LCGP use in the USA during the period 2007–2012 and to assess predictors of LCGP use in a nationally representative sample of children and adolescents. Methods: We used cross-sectional data from the 2007–2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and classified each prescription fill as an LCGP or non-LCGP fill. We assessed the proportions of LCGP fills and LCGP users each year from 2007 to 2012 and compared users and non-users during the latest available study cohort (2011–2012) using chi-squared and t-tests for users. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with LCGP use in the most recent MEPS panel. Results: Of 2754 children meeting all inclusion criteria, 23.7 % were classified as LCGP users, representing over 10 million adolescent LCGP users over the 2011–2012 period. LCGP users were significantly more likely to be female, privately insured, White, residing in urban areas, lacking prescription drug coverage, and in a higher income bracket than non-users. Significant predictors of LCGP use included age, prescription drug coverage, insurance type, race, region of residence, and number of unique medications used. Conclusions: \While one in four children use LCGPs, certain subgroups that may benefit the most from the programs are using them at a lower rate, and use of these programs has important effects on medication utilization quality assurance and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs - Real World Outcomes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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