Increasing Intake Of Prescription Drugs In The USA

23 Jan, 2020

A survey was conducted by health research firm, Quintile IMS, in August 2017, which showed that the number of prescriptions filled for American adults and children rose 85% between 1997 and 2016, from 2.4 billion to 4.5 billion a year. In 2014, nearly 1.3 million people sought emergency room treatment for adverse drug effects, and about 124,000 people died in the US.

Another survey was conducted by HealthDay Consumer Reports Magazine on prescription drugs in August 2017, which included nearly 2,000 American adults. According to the survey, nearly 55% of Americans regularly take prescription medicine; many of these pills may be unnecessary and might do more harm than good, and out of those who take prescription drugs, 53% purchase them from more than one health care provider, which increases the risk of adverse drug effects. More than a third say no provider has reviewed their medicines to see if all are necessary. 49% of survey respondents who regularly take prescription medicine have asked their prescribers whether they could stop taking a drug, and 71% were able to eliminate at least one.

A similar survey was conducted by AARP on prescription drugs in January 2016 in the US, which included 1,834 adult representatives aged above 50 years. The objective of the survey was to understand consumers’ prescription drug use and opinions regarding cost, to understand struggles consumers face with regard to the cost of the prescription drugs, and to gain insights into the views of adults aged over 50 years on the regulations for prescription drugs and pharmaceutical companies. The objective also included finding out how they perceive the drug companies, and what can be done to control the cost of the pharmaceutical drugs. According to the survey, three quarters of the adults aged over 50 years take prescription medicines on a regular basis, and the percentage is higher for seniors. Nearly three in ten representatives say that their out-of-pocket prescription drugs costs are increasing and their monthly expenditure for the one-third is $50 or more. According to the survey, adults aged between 50-64 are struggling more than seniors to pay for their prescription drugs.

The global pharmaceutical drugs market is expected to grow from around $1,045 billion in 2019 to around $1,170 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.78%.

Another survey conducted by International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in June 2013 concluded that consumers found generic drugs as good as prescription drugs. The survey included around 250 representatives from different groups of population and their opinions about generic drugs. The results show that nearly 60% of the individuals said that generics are as effective as branded medicines and 82% individuals found a huge cost difference between generic and branded medicines. In addition to this, around 45% of the respondents did not know about stores where generic medicines are available but when they were asked if they would like to know about such stores, about 95% responded positively.

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