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Average Senior Takes 25 Prescriptions per Year

Our country is in sad shape in that the average person in the country consumes one drug a month, now I haven't taken any prescription drugs in many years and most of you reading this haven't either, so someone is taking our drugs, and the average is really much worse than even this alarming statistic suggests.

However, the numbers really tell the story for seniors. The number of senior citizens subjected to a potentially dangerous over-medication has more than doubled since 1999. A study released earlier this year, conducted by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (a company that manages drug benefit plans), concluded with this shocking statistic: the average senior receives 25 prescriptions annually--a 100 percent jump from just four years ago!

That is more than double the national average. They are taking, on average, two prescriptions a month. This is every senior citizen in the country. Absolutely amazing. How can anyone in their right mind not recognize the insanity of this approach that is merely designed to line the pockets of rich drug companies. Fortunately, as I mentioned in the blog yesterday, this trend is starting to change and some of the largest drug companies are finally starting to lay people off.

Here are some further amazing statistics:

  • One in four seniors sees four or more physicians, however, nearly one in 10 seniors was prescribed medications by six or more different doctors in 2002
  • One in three used four or more different pharmacies and one in seven seniors used five or more pharmacies to fill prescriptions last year
  • One in four seniors took a narcotic for more than 30 days, and nearly one in 10 took more than three different narcotics in 2002
  • On average, the amount of money spent yearly on prescription medications for one senior is equivalent to the amount spent on a typical family of four

Senior Journal May 28, 2003

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