Nexium Approved for Children – 5 Reasons It’s Important
The FDA recently approved the use of Nexium in children down to age one year. What does this mean for kids and how will it change the way we look at reflux?
1. Awareness. The education for physicians and direct-to-consumer advertising that we all expect from Astra-Zeneca should raise awareness that reflux is alive and well in childhood. Amen.
2. Comfort. FDA approval is often the stamp of approval that some doctors need before actually treating children with GERD. And while Prevacid and Nexium are currently not approved under 12 months, today's approval puts doctors closer to the use of PPIs in our little bundles of misery.
3. Pricing. When it comes to medication, the more the merrier ... for patients and payors, that is. Competition is good for pricing. Expect to see some effect at the pharmacy check-out stand.
4. Options. PPI's are like shoes, not all feel the same. Sometimes a change in PPI is just enough to change a child's symptoms of reflux. As a pediatric gastroenterologist, Nexium gives me one more option when it comes to my patients with "fiery burps."
5. Controversy. Reflux in children has come under scrutiny as being overdiagnosed and overtreated. Look for Astra-Zeneca's Nexium approval to resurrect this debate. While I find the controversy absurd, it's true that there's no such thing as bad publicity.
So let the games begin.