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Q: Prescription drug use by senior citizens ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Prescription drug use by senior citizens
Category: Health > Seniors
Asked by: dpfitch-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 02 Sep 2005 19:31 PDT
Expires: 02 Oct 2005 19:31 PDT
Question ID: 563761
I am interested in prescription drug usage by senior citizens, ages 65
years and older, in the United States in the last three to five years.
I want to know the average cost of a prescription for a senior
citizen; the average number of different prescription drugs taken at
the same time by a senior citizen (for example, my mother took fifteen
different prescription drugs a day); whether there are any significant
differences in prescritption drug usage between men and women seniors.
Subject: Re: Prescription drug use by senior citizens
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 03 Sep 2005 17:18 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Dpfitch,

Below you will find the results of my research regarding prescription
drug use by senior citizens.

Prescription Drug Spending Per Senior 1992-2010

Year           Prescription Drug 
               Expenditures per Senior(year)
1992              $ 559 
1994              $ 648 
1996              $ 769 
1998              $ 984 
2000            $ 1,205 
2005            $ 1,912 
2010            $ 2,810 

Source: Data compiled by PRIME Institute for Families USA.

 ?Annual spending per elderly person for prescription drugs grew from
$559 in 1992 to $1,205 in 2000, an increase of 116 percent. At the
same time, overall per senior health care spending grew by 59 percent,
nearly half as fast as drug spending. As a result, per senior
prescription drug spending as a share of total health care spending
grew from 7.4 in 1992 to 10 percent in 2000.?

?By 2010, annual per person spending on drugs for the elderly is
projected to reach $2,810 a year, an increase of 133 percent over
spending in 2000. During this period, per senior overall health care
spending is projected to increase by 76 percent.?

?Over the 18-year period from 1992 to 2010, prescription drug
spending per elderly person is projected to grow by 403 percent,
more than twice the rate of overall growth in per senior health care
spending, which is expected to grow by 180 percent. The portion of
senior health spending devoted to prescription drugs will have grown
from 7.4 percent in 1992 to 13.3 percent in 2010.?

Number of Prescriptions for Seniors  1992-2010

Year        Number of Prescriptions
            per Senior
1992        19.6 
1994        20.7 
1996        22.6 
1998        26.5 
2000        28.5 
2005        34.4 
2010        38.5 

Source: Data compiled by PRIME 
Institute for Families USA.

?The average number of prescriptions per elderly person grew from 19.6
in 1992 to 28.5 in 2000, an increase of 45 percent. By 2010, the
average number of prescriptions per elderly person is projected to
grow to 38.5, an increase of 10 prescriptions, or 35 percent, per
senior since 2000.
From 1992 to 2010, the average number of prescriptions per senior will
grow by 96 percent. The overall total number of prescriptions for
seniors grew from 648 million in 1992 to over 1 billion in the year
2000?and is projected to grow to almost 1.6 billion in 2010.?

Families USA


From The Minnesota Board of Aging: ?How are Older Minnesotans using
prescription drugs??

How many prescriptions do seniors take every day? 

In Minnesota, 82 percent of persons age 65 and over take at least one
prescription drug on a daily basis. Only 18 percent do not take
prescription drugs daily.

The average number of different prescription drugs taken daily by
seniors is 2.9. More than one in five seniors take five or more
different prescription drugs every day.

Number of Different Prescription Drugs Taken Daily 
None            18%  
1-2	        36%
3-4	        25%
5+              21%

Cost of prescription drugs 

?The average Minnesota senior who takes drugs pays $85 a month
out-of-pocket for prescription drugs. Close to one in four (23
percent) spend more than $100 a month out-of-pocket for prescription

Average Monthy Out-of-Pocket Expense for Prescription Drugs 
$0-$50       53%
$51-$100     24%
$101+        23%

Gender differences

?Older women spend more out-of-pocket on prescription drugs, on
average, than do older men, regardless of whether or not they have
prescription drug coverage. The percent lacking drug coverage however,
does not differ between men and women. More than one-third lack drug
coverage within both groups.?

Minnesota Board on Aging

Download full text of this document here:


?Women (56%) are more likely than men (42%) to use a prescription
medicine on a regular basis, and are also more likely to report
difficulties affording their medications.?

Target News


From the Center for Economic and Policy Research:

See Table 1
Average Annual Spending by Elderly Households  on Prescription-Drugs
by Income Quintile


According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the
Commonwealth Fund and Tufts-New England Medical Center, among seniors
with at least three chronic health conditions, nearly three of four
(73%) take five or more medications regularly.

New England Medical Center
Kaiser Family Foundation


Ambulatory elderly patients take an average of 7.9 drugs per person per day.  
BWAFP Research

?The number ofdifferent medications a patient takes tends to increase 
with age; people 75 years of age and older take an average of 7.9
drugs per person per day.?

American Pharmacists Association

Additional articles that might be of your interest

Sticker Shock: Rising Prescription Drug Prices for Seniors 
A Report by Families USA
Publisher: June 2004

?This updated study examines price changes for the top 30 brand-name
drugs prescribed for seniors. The survey found that the prices of
these drugs have increased by nearly 22 percent over the past three
years. ?

?2003 marked yet another year when prescription drug prices increased
well above the rate of inflation. From January 2003 to January 2004,
the rate of increase for the brand-name drugs most frequently used by
seniors was 4.3 times inflation.?

Download complete report here:


New Medicare Cost Estimates Will Cause Enormous  Hardships For Seniors

?In 2006, most seniors will pay an annual premium of $420 for drug
coverage. Within a decade, that premium will increase to $816.
Simultaneously, the drug deductible will grow from $250 to $472. And,
worst of all, the huge gap in coverage in which seniors will have to
pay 100 percent of their drug costs?the so-called ?doughnut hole??will
grow from $2,850 to $5,382.?

Families USA


Prescription Drugs and the Elderly


January 2005


Search terms:

"Prescription drugs?  "seniors? 2000..2010
Prescription drugs and the elderly
Seniors "takes * drugs a day
"Prescription drugs?  + seniors
"Prescription drugs? + gender

I hope the information provided is helpful!

Best regards,
dpfitch-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Bobbie7 responded directly and fully to each of the parts of teh
question that I asked within 36 hours of my request. Very
professional.  The information was in a format that I will be able
easily use for some articles that I am writing. This was my first
experience with Google Answers and it has been a very favorable one!

Subject: Re: Prescription drug use by senior citizens
From: strecken-ga on 22 Sep 2005 18:55 PDT
I found this drug message board for you

I hope this helps, God Bless

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