HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Prescription Drug Use Continues to Rise

Almost one-half of Americans used at least one prescription drug last month according to a study released by the National Center for Health Statistics. The following chart shows the increase in prescription drugs from 1999 to 2008.

 Figure 1 is a line graph showing the trends in prescription drug use in the United States from 1999 through 2008.

Other key findings:

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.

In 2007-2008, 1 out of every 5 children and 9 out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the past month.

Those who were without a regular place for health care, health insurance, or prescription drug benefit had less prescription drug use compared with those who had these benefits.

The most commonly used types of drugs included: asthma medicines for children, central nervous system stimulants for adolescents, antidepressants for middle-aged adults, and cholesterol lowering drugs for older Americans.

 

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