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Diabetes And Anti-Cholesterol Agents Top Outpatient Medication Expenditures

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:26am

The "metabolic agents" (drugs lowering blood sugar and cholesterol) accounted for less than 29% of the prescriptions filled in 2006 by Americans, but accounted for the largest dollar volume ($39 billion) of any drug class. The metabolic agents accounted for 18% of the total outpatient drug expenditure in 2006. Total expenditure for prescription medications in 2006 was $208.1 billion (is that close to how much the Democrats are trying to push through for "social programs" with the Obama stimulus package?)

The most commonly used medications were those classified as "central nervous system" (CNS) drugs (includes analgesics or medications for pain). More than 45% of patients filling a prescription in 2006 purchased CNS drugs.

The most expensive outpatient medications are those used in Psychiatry (average $91.54 per prescription). Keep in mind that outpatient prescriptions do not include most of the staggering costs of cancer chemotherapy.

Following the "metabolic agents", the most expensive classes are (although insulin is a "hormone", it is classified as a metabolic agent in this study):

-- Cardiovascular agents, $33.1 billion
-- Central nervous system drugs (including analgesics), $28.2 billion
-- Psychotherapeutic agents, $17.5 billion
-- Hormones, $14.0 billion

The full story is

Labels: Cancer, Cost, Lipids (Cholesterol)

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