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Therapeutic Drug Use

Data are for the U.S.

Prescription drug use

  • Percent of persons using at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days: 48.5% (2007-2010)
  • Percent of persons using three or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days: 21.7% (2007-2010)
  • Percent of persons using five or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days: 10.6% (2007-2010)

Source: Health, United States, 2013, table 92 [PDF - 9.8 MB]

Physician office visits

  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 2.6 billion
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 75.1%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes:
    • Analgesics
    • Antihyperlipidemic agents
    • Antidepressants

Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2010 Summary Tables, tables 22, 23, 24 [PDF - 382 KB]

Hospital outpatient department visits

  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 285.1 million
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 74.4%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes
    • Analgesics
    • Antidiabetic agents
    • Antihyperlipidemic agents

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2010 Outpatient Department Summary Tables, tables 18, 19, 20 [PDF - 330 KB]

Hospital emergency department visits

  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 271.4 million
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 79.3%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes
    • analgesics
    • Antiemetic or antivertigo agents
    • Minerals and electrolytes

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2010 Emergency Department Summary Tables, tables 20, 21, 22 [PDF - 481 KB]

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