Facts and figures, August 2013

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Close to 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two drugs, according to Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers. Twenty percent of patients are on five or more medications. The most commonly prescribed were antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkilling opioids.

In general, women and older adults receive more prescriptions. Vaccines, antibiotics, and anti-asthma drugs are most commonly prescribed in people younger than 19. Antidepressants and opioids are most common among young and middle-aged adults. Cardiovascular drugs are most commonly prescribed in older adults. Women receive more prescriptions than men across several drug groups, especially antidepressants. Nearly one in four women between the ages of 50 to 64 are on an antidepressant.

Prescription drug use has increased steadily in the United States for the past decade. The percentage of people who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44 percent in 1999-2000 to 48 percent in 2007-08. Spending on prescription drugs reached $ 250 billion in 2009, the year studied, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures. Drug-related spending is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, according to the researchers.

Pharmas tend to focus attention on market research in Phase IIIa to market approval and on health economics and outcomes research from launch to six months post-launch, according to a Cutting Edge Information study. The study, “Launching Pharmaceutical Brands: Formulas for Commercialization Success,” found that between market approval and launch, market research and health economics and outcomes research even out, receiving 11 percent and 10 percent of the average budget, respectively. Market access categories’ financial support lessens from launch to six months post-launch. During that timeframe, health economics…Read more

Pharmalive – The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

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