13 Huge Trends In America's Prescription Drug Habit, Business Insider, April 21, 2011
We're spending more on drugs (although growth is trending down):
The government is paying a larger share of this spending over time - private payers' (insurance companies or our wallets) share is declining while public payers' (Medicare and Medicaid) share is increasing:
If we want to phase out public healthcare spending (e.g. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, "The Path to Prosperity") we're moving in the wrong direction.
Here are the drugs we're buying. These are name brands. They aren't entirely representative of our habits since 78% of the drugs we buy are now generics (which is contributing to the downward growth in the first graph).
Top 15 drugs in America (highest grossing, by prescription):
- Lipitor (statin, lowers cholesterol)
- Nexium (heartburn)
- Plavix (prevents blood clots)
- Advair Diskus (asthma)
- Abilify (antipsychotic)
- Seroquel (antipsychotic)
- Singulair (asthma)
- Crestor (statin, lowers cholesterol)
- Actos (diabetes)
- Epogen (anemia from kidney disease)
- Remicade (Crohn's, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Embrel (arthritis)
- Cymbalta (antipsychotic)
- Avastin (cancer)
- Oxycontin (pain)
"This may reflect the enduring effects of the macroeconomy, high unemployment levels and rising healthcare costs; it may also include more patients losing coverage and others managing spending carefully."Have you put off a visit to a healthcare provider because of cost?
More prescriptions were written for antidepressants than for any other drug in 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2009 and 2010 lipid drugs squeezed past them, but barely. We need to give mental health a bigger spotlight.