Drug prescribing

Drug prescription use has increased significantly in United States for the past decade.

The percentage of individuals taking at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% in 1999-2000 to 48% in 2007-2008(Gu Q et al).

In 2009 prescription drugs accounted for 12% of total personal health care expenditures and reached $250 billion.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem presently in the US.

Medication related adverse outcomes increased 52% in hospitals and emergency departments between 2004 and 2008.

Drug prescribing patterns vary across geographic regions.

Drug prescribing patterns may serve as a proxy for health system performance.

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