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Prescription Drugs in America [Infographic]

Author: Edgar Wilson
Website: http://pharmd.distancelearning.ufl.edu/
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Top 10 Prescription Drugs in the United States

Take As Directed Prescription

Prescription drugs are a major industry in America—a $300 billion-plus industry. As the following inforgraphic, courtesy of the University of Florida PharmD program, shows, healthcare in America involves a lot of prescriptions, which in turn involves a lot of testing and regulation.

If you’ve ever wondered what all the stages are between identifying a health problem to being able to buy the pills to manage it, look no further. From brand names to molecular patents, America’s drug industry is a massive storm of regulations, hi-tech science and research, and endless double-checking for safety. The complex journey undertaken by each new medication helps show why drugs can be so expensive. Of course, no medication comes without possible side-effects, which range from the mild to the disruptive and even dangerous—even among the most commonly prescribed drugs like Acetaminophen.

With the Baby Boomer population advancing into its golden years, the number of patients taking multiple prescriptions is set to increase even more in coming years, as older individuals tend to have more chronic conditions and require more medication for treatment. This puts older patients at an even higher risk for side-effects and drug interactions. Fortunately, as the infographic shows, online resources and mobile applications are finally available to help patients manage their medications, identify possible reactions or side-effects, and even tell their medication apart.

Read on for a guide to prescription drugs in America.


Prescription Drugs in America [Infographic]

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A GUIDE TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN THE UNITED STATES

ALL ABOUT THE TOP 10 PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (2013)

LEVOTHYROXINE

USES: TREATMENT FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM (LOW THYROID LEVELS) ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS

COMMON BRAND NAMES: SYNTHROID, UNTHROID, LEVOXYL

115.2M PRESCRIPTION DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: WEIGHT LOSS, HEAT INTOLERANCE, NERVOUSNESS, TREMOR, NAUSEA, IRRITABILITY

ACETAMINOPHEN/HYDROCODONE

USES: RELIEVES MODERATE TO SEVERE PAIN

COMMON BRAND NAMES: VICODIN, LORTAB, NORCO

29.2M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: SEDATION, HABIT-FORMING, DIZZINESS, NAUSEA, VOMITING, IMPAIRED THINKING AND FUCNTION

LISINOPRIL

USES: TREATMENT FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

COMMON BRAND NAMES: PRINIVIL, ZESTRIL

1.5M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: NAUSEA, VOMITING, DRY COUGH, DIZZINESS, FATIGUE, HEADACHE

METOPROLOL

USES: TREATMENT FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS

COMMON BRAND NAMES: LOPRESSOR, TOPROL, DUTOPROL, LOPRESSIDONE

83.9M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: DIZZINESS, FATIGUE, DEPRESSION, NAUSEA, DRY MOUTH, RASH

SIMVASTATIN

USES: TREATMENT FOR HIGH CHOLESTEROL IN COMBINATION WITH DIET AND EXERCISE

COMMON BRAND NAMES: ZOCOR, SIMCOR, JUVISYNC, VYTORIN

79.1M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: NAUSEA, VOMITING, CONSTIPATION, ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT, MEMORY LOSS

AMLODIPINE

USES: TREATMENT FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS

COMMON BRAND NAMES: NORVASC, AMVAZ, AZOR, AMTURNIDE, CADUET

74M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: HEADACHE, SWELLING OF THE EXTREMITIES, HEADACHE, DIZZINESS, FATIGUE, NAUSEA

METFORMIN

USES: TREATMENT FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES, ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS

COMMON BRAND NAMES: FORTAMET, GLUCOPHAGE, RIOMET, GLUMETZA, JANUMET

72.8M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: DIARRHEA, STOMACH PAIN, HEARTBURN, FLUSHED SKIN, MUSCLE PAIN

OMEPRAZOLE

USES: TREATMENT FOR GASTROESPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE (GERD), ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS

COMMON BRAND NAMES: PRILOSEC, ZERGERID

70.7M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: CONSTIPATION, NAUSEA, HEADACHE, GAS

ATORVASTATIN

USES: REDUCES RISK OF HEART ATTACK AND/OR STROKE, IN COMBINATION WITH DIET AND EXERCISE

COMMON BRAND NAMES: LIPITOR, CADUET, LIPTRUZET

68.4M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: DIARRHEA, CONSTIPATION, HEADACHE, JOINT PAIN, MEMORY LOSS, CONFUSION

ALBUTEROL

USES: TREATMENT FOR WHEEZING, DIFFICULTY BREATHING, CHEST TIGHTNESS, AND COUGH ASSOCIATED WITH LUNG DISEASES SUCH AS ASTHMA AND CHRONIC PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD)

COMMON BRAND NAMES: PROVENTIL, VENTOLIN, VOLMAX, VOSPIRE

63.5M PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED

SIDE EFFECTS: NAUSEA, DIZZINESS, MUSCLE CRAMPS, NOSEBLEED, SUDDEN CHANGES IN MOOD

DRUG DEVELOPMENT AND APPROVAL

PATIENTS GAINED ACCESS TO 38 NEW MOLECULAR ENTITIES (NMES) IN 2013, INCLUDING 10 NEW NOTABLE CANCER TREATMENTS - THE MOST IN A DECADE

A TOTAL OF 27 NEW ONCOLOGY DRUGS HAVE LAUNCHED IN THE PAST THREE YEARS

THE DRUG DEVELOPMENT AND APPROVAL PROCESS TAKES, ON AVERAGE, BETWEEN 8 TO 12 YEARS AND CONSISTS OF 5 PHASES

1. DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT

RESEARCH TO FIND A PROMISING DRUG BY STUDYING DISEASE PROCESSES, MOLECULAR TESTING TO FIND BENEFICIAL RESULTS, ANALYZING EXISTING TREATMENT FOR UNANTICIPATED RESULTS AND OTHER TECHNIQUES

ONCE A PROMISING COMPOUND IS FOUND, EXPERIMENTS ARE PERFORMED TO GATHER INFORMATION ON HOW THE DRUG IS ABSORBED AND METABOLIZED, ITS BENEFITS, BEST DOSAGES, AND SIDE EFFECTS, ETC.

2. PRECLINICAL RESEARCH

LABORATORY AND ANIMAL TESTING FOR SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF THE NEW COMPOUND

TWO TYPES OF PRECLINICAL RESEARCH

  • IN VITRO (IN A GLASS TUBE)
  • IN VIVO (IN A LIVING ORGANISM)

3. CLINICAL RESEARCH

DRUG DEVELOPERS MUST FIRST SUBMIT AN INVESTIGATIONAL NEW DRUG (IND) APPLICATION TO THE FDA BEFORE BEGINNING CLINICAL RESEARCH

ONCE APPROVED, THEY CAN BEGIN HUMAN TESTING FOR SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF THE NEW COMPOUND

4. FDA REVIEW

A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS AT THE FDA'S CENTER FOR DRUG EVALUATION AND RESEARCH (CDER) REVIEW THE COMPANY'S DATA AND PROPOSED LABELING FOR THE DRUG

DRUG DEVELOPERS SUBMIT A NEW DRUG APPLICATION (NDA) TO THE FDA

IF THIS INDEPENDENT REVIEW ESTABLISHES THAT THE DRUG'S HEALTH BENEFITS OUTWEIGH ITS KNOWN RISKS, THE DRUG IS APPROVED FOR SALE

5. FDA POST-MARKET SAFETY MONITORING

FDA CONTINUES TO MONITOR ALL DRUGS AFTER APPROVAL AND ISSUES WARNINGS OR RECALLS IF NECESSARY

ONLINE TOOLS AND APPS FOR PATIENTS

MANY HELPFUL ONLINE TOOLS AND APPS EXIST TO HELP EDUCATE PATIENTS AND POTENTIAL PATIENTS ABOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AS WELL AS MANAGING EXISTING PRESCRIPTIONS:

RXLIST HELPS IDENTIFY PILLS BY COLOR, SHAPE, AND IMPRINT:

http://www.rxlist.com/pill-identification-tool/article.html

U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE DRUG INFORMATION PORTAL:

http://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov/drugportal/drugportal.jsp

MEDICATION APP REMINDERS: IPHARMACY, MEDCOACH, PILL REMINDER BY DRUGS.COM, RXMINDME, DOSECAST, PILL MONITOR, PILLBOXIE

MEDICATION IDENTIFIERS AND INFORMATION: DRUGS & MEDICATIONS, POCKETPHARMACIST, IMEDICATIONS, MONTHLY PRESCRIBING REFERENCE (MPR), MOBILE PHYSICIANS DESK REFERENCE (PDR)

DETAILED MEDICATION GUIDES CONTAINING PROPER DOSAGE, DRUG INFORMATION, AND FULL POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: 

http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm085729.htm

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

TOTAL DOLLARS SPENT ON MEDICATIONS IN THE U.S. REACHED $329.2 BILLION LAST YEAR

BRANDED DRUGS ACCOUNTED FOR 71% OF THAT SPENDING

GENERICS 17%

BRANDED GENERICS 12%

45.7M HYPERTENSION

24.4M CHOLESTEROL

22.3M ANTIDEPRESSANTS

THE TOP THREE TREATED THERAPIES

AMERICANS HAVE THE HIGHEST PORTION OF ALL PRESCRIPTIONS (30.7%)

PRESCRIPTIONS PER CAPITA

PATIENTS THIS AGE HAVE AN AVERAGE OF 19.2 PRESCRIPTIONS PER CAPITA

AGES

0 - 18 4.2

19 - 25 5.2

26 - 49 9.7

50 - 64 19.2

65 - 79 27.3

80+ 29.1

UF University of Florida

http://pharmd.distancelearning.ufl.edu



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3 Comments

  1. @circlecast says:

    Prescription Drugs in America [Infographic] http://t.co/KXMeOiPrQL via @OneTruConscious

  2. Prescription Drugs in America [Infographic] http://t.co/0ItexEXT8G via @OneTruConscious

  3. @Lnnie says:

    http://t.co/82N4N6vvGG
    A 300 billion dollar industry? Top ten prescription drugs. How did we get here?

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  • Prescription drugs are a major industry in America—a $300 billion-plus industry.
  • If you’ve ever wondered what all the stages are between identifying a health problem to being able to buy the pills to manage it, look no further.
  • From brand names to molecular patents, America’s drug industry is a massive storm of regulations, hi-tech science and research, and endless double-checking for safety.
  • The complex journey undertaken by each new medication helps show why drugs can be so expensive.
  • With the Baby Boomer population advancing into its golden years, the number of patients taking multiple prescriptions is set to increase even more in coming years, as older individuals tend to have more chronic conditions and require more medication for treatment.