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AHRQ News and Numbers
Release date: November 29, 2005
According to survey data from
the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Americans and their
insurance plans spent $34 billion on the top 10
prescribed drugs when ranked by total expenditure in 2003. These drugs treated
high cholesterol, high blood pressure, ulcers,
depression, arthritis pain and other health problems.
The top 10 drugs by
expenditure and persons treated were:
- Lipitor®—$7.8 billion and 13.1 million persons.
- Zocor®—$5.5 billion and 7.5 million persons.
- Prevacid®—$3.5 billion and 5.2 million persons.
- Nexium®—$3.2 billion and 4.5 million persons.
- Celebrex®—$2.9 billion and 6.0 million persons.
- Norvasc®$2.4 billion and 5.9 million persons.
- Advair®—$2.2 billion and 4.2 million persons.
- Paxil®—$2.2 billion and 4.5 million persons.
- Allegra®—$2.2 billion and 9.2 million persons.
- Zoloft®—$2.1 billion and 4.7 million persons.
The dollar amounts and number of persons with
expenditures for these drugs are rounded. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S.
households about health care use, expenses, access, health status and quality
for Americans other than those in nursing homes or other institutions. MEPS is
a unique government survey because of the degree of detail in its data, as well
as its ability to link data on health services spending and health insurance to
demographic, employment, economic, health status, and other characteristics of
individuals and families.
To view Prescribed Drug Estimates: 2003, go to http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/summ_tables/hc/drugs/2003/hcdrugest_totexp2003.shtml.
To speak with an AHRQ data analyst about these estimates, please contact Bob Isquith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 427-1539.