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Record 4 billion Prescriptions Written in 2011

Friday, 14 September 2012 01:18 PM

Americans are taking a record number of prescription medicines, according to a new report in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

Doctors wrote more scripts for patients than ever last year, with the number increasing from 3.99 billion to 4.02 billion between 2010 and 2011. The total cost: $319.9 billion. A growing number are for mental health conditions, the study showed.

Among the findings of the new research, led by the journal’s editor Craig W. Lindsley:

• So-called antipsychotic medicines – including those used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome and some forms of depression – ranked as the fifth most-prescribed class of drugs by sales.
• Antidepressants, for conditions that include depression and anxiety, ranked No. 7.
• Xanax, Celexa, and Zoloft were the most-prescribed psychiatric medicines, with other depression and anxiety medications rounding out the top 10.
• Two antipsychotics were among the 10 drugs that Americans spent the most on, with Abilify in fourth place.
• Prescriptions for ADHD medicines increased by 17 percent and multiple sclerosis medications by 22.5 percent in sales from 2010.
Lindsley said noted expiring patents on major mental-health drugs in the next few years will put pressure on drug makers to innovate, but said the findings indicate growth of the number of prescriptions and spending is likely to continue.

© HealthDay

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Americans are taking a record number of prescription drugs, many for mental health conditions.
Friday, 14 September 2012 01:18 PM
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