U.S. Prescription Drug Use Declined in 2008
Safety concerns, fewer new drugs hitting the market, and popular drugs becoming available over the counter contributed to the first decline in prescription drug use in the U.S. in a decade, the Associated Press reported May 13.
The economic recession had a lesser role in the decline in drug purchases, according to industry experts.
Pharmacy benefits-management firm Medco Health Solutions said that while spending on prescription drugs still rose 3.3 percent in 2008 despite declining sales, due to price increases averaging 8 percent for brand-name pharmaceuticals.
The research also showed that prescriptions for youths ages 19 and under grew faster than for any other age group, due in part to rising diabetes rates and sales of drugs for attention-deficit disorder and similar illnesses.