This study was conducted to assess the use of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in European paediatric patients experiencing essential hypertension. This was a retrospective analysis of the IMS MIDAS Prescribing Insight Medical Database. Five major important European markets, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK were studied for the usage of ARBs as either a monotherapy or fixed-dose combination (FDC) therapy. Paediatric patients with essential hypertension were identified using ICD-10 codes, and anatomical therapeutic chemical (ATC) classification was used to identify major classes of antihypertensives. Projected prescription data for paediatric patients (< 18 years) in the time period of October 2005 to September 2006 were analysed. Special emphasis was placed on the category of 6-17 years of age, as many ARBs were recommended in children above 6 years of age. Out of 242 405 estimated paediatric patients with hypertension, 222 033 (91.6%) were diagnosed with essential hypertension. Out of 230 220 projected prescriptions dispensed in these essential hypertensives, approximately 76.2% were for patients in the category of 6-17 years of. In the age group of 6-17 years, ARBs constituted 25.5% of the projected prescriptions, with 10.6% in the form of FDC of ARBs with hydrochlorothiazides (HCTz). Projected ARB prescription usage, either as a monotherapy or as an FDC with HCTz, was higher in Italy (35.7%), France (30.9%) and Spain (28.1%), but was lower in Germany (5.3%), and non-existent in the United Kingdom. Valsartan-based and losartan-based FDCs were commonly used in the age range of 6-17 years, and accounted for 39. and 13.9% of the projected prescription volume in the ARB-FDC category, respectively. In a majority of the important European markets, paediatric hypertensive patients in the age range of 6-17 years are often treated with ARB monotherapy or FDC therapy. Some ARBs lack necessary clinical studies to support its use in treating essential hypertension in paediatric patients.
Journal of Human Hypertension (2009) 23, 420-425; doi:10.1038/jhh.2008.139; published online 4 December 2008