Prescription Drug Use Expected for Half of Americans’ Lifetimes, Study Finds

October 19, 2023

A recent study by Jessica Ho, associate professor at Penn State University, found that Americans born in 2019 are expected to take prescription drugs for about half their lifetimes. Girls born that year can anticipate using prescription drugs for around 47.5 years (60% of their life), and boys for roughly 37 years (48% of their life). The study relied on nationally representative surveys from 1996 to 2019 conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A significant finding is the rapid rise in polypharmacy, the concurrent use of five or more drugs, which was uncommon in the mid-1990s. The broad differences in the use of prescription drugs by gender and ethnicity were also highlighted.

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[Source: Medical Economics, October 18th, 2023]

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