7 Out of 10 Americans Are Now Taking a Prescription Drug

Recent research by Olmsted Medical Center and Mayo Clinic has revealed just under 70% of US citizens now take a prescription drug, with over 50% of people taking two different drugs. The research also discovered that around one in five patients take five or more prescribed drugs. Among the most commonly prescribed drugs are painkillers, antidepressants and antibiotics, according to the study.


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The authors of the study explain that the research findings provide an insight into current practices surrounding prescription drugs. The study revealed that drugs used to treat depression were the second most commonly taken prescription drugs, suggesting that mental health issues are extremely widespread and should receive more attention from the medical community. Opioid painkillers were the third most taken prescription drugs, something which the researchers say could be a cause for concern, as such drugs can be addictive to some users.

The Demographics of Prescription-Drug Users

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that prescription-drug use increases sharply after the age of 45 and continues to climb the older the individual gets older. This is corroborated by the results of the recent study, which also revealed that certain prescription drugs, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, were rarely prescribed to individuals under the age of 30. Overall, prescription-drug use was highest in older adults and women generally than in the population as a whole. Antidepressants were found to be extremely common among women in their 50s and 60s, with one in four 50- to 64-year-old females taking prescription antidepressants at the time of the study.

The rate of prescription-drug use in the US has now been increasing at a steady rate for ten years. Pharma companies spend millions on research to develop new and improved drugs to treat a range of conditions. For prescription-drug manufacturers wondering how long does it take to get a FDA 510k approved, procuring the services of a specialist professional firm able to guide them through the approval process and complete the FDA third party review is the best way to proceed.

The Most Popular Prescription Drugs

Seventeen per cent of those who took part in the Olmsted Medical Center and Mayo Clinic study were taking antibiotics, with thirteen per cent of respondents taking opioid drugs and antidepressants.