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: 48.9% (2011-2014)
  • Percent of persons using three or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days: 23.1% (2011-2014)
  • Percent of persons using five or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days: 11.9% (2011-2014)

Source: Health, United States, 2017, table 79 pdf icon[PDF – 9.8 MB]

Physician office visits
  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 2.9 billion
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 73.9%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes:
    • Analgesics
    • Antihyperlipidemic agents
    • Dermatological agents

Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2016 National Summary Tables, tables 22, 24, 25 pdf icon[PDF – 793 KB]

Hospital emergency department visits
  • Number of drugs given or prescribed: 359.0 million
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 80.4%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes
    • Analgesics
    • Antiemetic or antivertigo agents
    • Minerals and electrolytes

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2016 Emergency Department Summary Tables, tables 20, 21, 22 pdf icon[PDF – 738 KB]

More Data

Page last reviewed: January 19, 2017