Record 4.02 billion prescriptions in United States in 2011

September 12, 2012, American Chemical Society

People in the United States took more prescription drugs than ever last year, with the number of prescriptions increasing from 3.99 billion (with a cost of $308.6 billion) in 2010 to 4.02 billion (with a cost of $319.9 billion) in 2011. Those numbers and others appear in an annual profile of top prescription medicines published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

Journal Editor-in-Chief Craig W. Lindsley analyzed data on 2011 drugs with a focus on medications for (CNS) disorders. 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.

XanaxTM, CelexaTM and ZoloftTM were the most-prescribed psychiatric medicines, with other depression and rounding out the top 10. Two antipsychotics were among the 10 drugs that Americans spent the most on, with AbilifyTM in fourth place. Lindsley explains that while antidepressants continued to be the most-prescribed class of CNS drugs in 2011, prescriptions for ADHD medicines increased by 17 percent and multiple sclerosis medications by 22.5 percent in sales from 2010. While expiring patents on major antipsychotics in the next few years will put pressure on drug makers to innovate, the industry should be heartened by the growth of the number of prescriptions and spending.

Explore further: Report: 1 in 5 of US adults on behavioral meds

More information: "The Top Prescription Drugs of 2011 in the United States: Antipsychotics and Antidepressants Once Again Lead CNS Therapeutics", ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2012, 3 (8), pp 630–631. DOI: 10.1021/cn3000923


Related Stories

Report: 1 in 5 of US adults on behavioral meds

November 16, 2011
More than 20 percent of American adults took at least one drug for conditions like anxiety and depression in 2010, according to an analysis of prescription data, including more than one in four women.

Americans turn to generic medications in 2010: report

April 22, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- In a new report released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the results show that over 78% of the almost four billion prescriptions written in the U.S. in 2010 were for generic drugs. The ...

Reducing off-label use of antipsychotic medications may save money

May 15, 2012
Reducing the non-FDA-approved use of antipsychotic drugs may be a way to save money while having little effect on patient care, according to a Penn State College of Medicine study.

Global spending on drugs to slow through 2016

July 12, 2012
(AP) — Growth in global spending on medications will slow markedly over the next four years due to a large number of new low-cost generic drugs coming to pharmacies in the U.S. and other developed countries, along with ...

Atypical antipsychotics may aid symptons for some off-label uses, but not others

September 27, 2011
Medical evidence suggests that psychiatric drugs known as atypical antipsychotics are effective in reducing symptoms for some off-label conditions, but not others, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Recommended for you

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

Price tag on gene therapy for rare form of blindness: $850K

January 3, 2018
A first-of-its kind genetic treatment for blindness will cost $850,000 per patient, making it one of the most expensive medicines in the world and raising questions about the affordability of a coming wave of similar gene-targeting ...

Restasis: Why US consumers paid billions for drug deemed ineffective in other countries

January 2, 2018
Why are Americans, both as patients and taxpayers, paying billions of dollars for a drug whose efficacy is so questionable that it's not approved in the European Union, Australia or New Zealand? Restasis, a blockbuster drug ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.