150 million Americans take at least one prescription drug
Prescription drug use in the U.S. has been rising steadily in the past decade and the trend shows no signs of slowing, the CDC says in a new report.
The study, published in the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief No. 42, says the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the rose from 43.5% in 1999-2000 to 48.3% in the 2007-2008 period.
The use of two or more drugs increased from 25.4% to 31.2% over the same decade, and the use of five or more prescription medications jumped from 6.3% to 10.7%.
The report also says that in the 2007-2008 period:
- One of every five children and nine out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the month prior to being surveyed.
- 22.4% of kids up to age 11 used at least one prescription drug.
- 29.9% of young people 12-19 used at least one prescription drug.
- 8.3% of people between 20 and 59 used at least one prescription medication.
- 88.4% of Americans age 60 and over used at least one prescription drug, more than 76% used two or more prescription drugs in the past month, and 37% used five or more.