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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: 48.9% (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, 2016, table 79 [PDF – 9.8 MB]

Physician office visits

  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 3.7 billion
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 76.2%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes:
    • Analgesics
    • Antihyperlipidemic agents
    • Antidepressants

Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2015 State and National Summary Tables, tables 24, 25, 26 [PDF – 692 KB]

Hospital outpatient department visits

  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 329.2 million
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 72.5%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes
    • Analgesics
    • Antidiabetic agents
    • Antihyperlipidemic agents

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2011 Outpatient Department Summary Tables, tables 18, 19, 20 [PDF – 330 KB]

Hospital emergency department visits

  • Number of drugs ordered or provided: 340.6 million
  • Percent of visits involving drug therapy: 79.1%
  • Most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes
    • Analgesics
    • Antiemetic or antivertigo agents
    • Minerals and electrolytes

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2015 Emergency Department Summary Tables, tables 21, 22, 23 [PDF – 676 KB]

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