Indications for growth hormone therapy in children
- Correspondence to Dr Jeremy Kirk, Department of Endocrinology, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK;
- Accepted 11 February 2011
- Published Online First 3 May 2011
Growth hormone (GH) therapy has now been available for over 5 decades, with all GH now biosynthetically produced, and administered by daily injection. Paediatric GH is currently licensed in six different conditions: growth hormone deficiency (GHD), Turner syndrome (TS), small for gestational age (SGA), Prader-Willi-syndrome (PWS), chronic renal insufficiency (CRI), and short stature due to SHOX deficiency; all of these have been ratified by the most recent (2010) NICE review. Whilst the primary purpose of paediatric GH therapy in most indications is to improve short and long-term growth, in others (eg. PWS) it has a role in improvement of body composition. Recent UK national audits indicate approximately 4700 children receiving GH therapy, with approximately 760 new starts a year, with most prescription still via historical growth centres.
There are currently 7 different manufacturers of GH, and while most UK units currently offer free patient choice for GH device, with preliminary evidence indicating that this may improve adherence with therapy, the 30% price difference may limit choice in the future.
Competing interests JK has received lecture fees and also research funding in the past from four of the GH manufacturers, Ferring, NovoNordisk, Merckserono and Pfizer.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.