Americans Take More Drugs

From the January 16 2001 PRnewswire is a story that reveals some startling numbers. According to a survey conducted for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), 51% of American adults take two or more medications per day, which include over-the-counter drugs. The study also showed that 46% take at least one prescription medication daily and 28% take multiple prescription drugs per day. These figures show that an alarming rate of the adult population in the United States uses drugs of some kind. As expected the elderly have the highest rate of medication usage with 79% of those over 65 reported to be taking at least one medication daily. Americans who are over 65 and take medications take an average of 4 medications per day per person. One of the concerns expressed by the ASHP president, Mick L. Hunt, M.S., was that medications could have bad interactions when mixed. Hunt said, "We want all patients to be aware of the potential for drug interactions that occur when mixing all of these remedies, especially when taking multiple medications each day."