Navigation Links
Chronic Medication Nation: Research Finds Chronic Health Problems Now Afflict More Than Half of All Americans

- First Time a Majority of Americans Take Medications to Treat Chronic

Health Conditions -

- Younger Adults Show Steepest Rise in Chronic Medication Use -

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., May 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Americans have tipped the scale. For the first time, a majority of the insured population is being treated for a chronic medical condition, raising serious concerns about the health of the nation.

Research released today by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) shows that in 2007, 51 percent of insured Americans were taking prescription drugs to treat at least one chronic health problem. Not only is it now a majority, but many of these patients are on multiple medications. According to the analysis, one fifth of the population used three or more of these chronic drug treatments last year.

"It appears that we have now reached the tipping point where treating chronic diseases and conditions is more common than not," said Dr. Robert Epstein, Medco's chief medical officer. "This data does paint a pretty unhealthy picture of America. But there is a silver lining; it does show that people are receiving treatment which can prevent more serious health problems down the road."

While seniors show the highest prevalence of chronic medication use, younger adults are quickly catching up. Surprisingly, nearly half (48 percent) of women ages 20-44 are being treated for a chronic condition, as compared to one third of men their age. Antidepressants are the most commonly used medication among this group, with 16 percent of 20-44 year-old women taking them. This demographic also claimed the sharpest increases in the number of patients on chronic medications, rising more than 20 percent between 2001 and 2007.

Young at Heart

Treatments for high cholesterol and high blood pressure were the top medications used by the general population, with more than one-in-five people on antihypertensives and almost one-in-seven on cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to the research that reviewed prescription claims of some 2.5 million insured Americans. These were also among the top four medications taken by 20-44 year-old men, whose use of cholesterol drugs surged more than 80 percent over a seven year period.

"Younger people are increasingly being treated for heart disease-related conditions such as high cholesterol and hypertension," said Dr. Epstein. "There's no doubt that rising rates of obesity are having a major impact on our health. These chronic conditions are incredibly costly for the nation and will become exponentially so if we're seeing these problems show up at a younger and younger age."

Additional Research Findings

Chronic Medication Use in Children: Nearly 30 percent of children ages 19 and under take a chronic medication; asthma and allergy drugs are most commonly prescribed, followed by medications to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and antidepressants. The number of girls taking ADHD medications rose 72 percent from 2001-2007.

Women Using Less HRTs and More Cholesterol Drugs: Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women ages 45 to 64 dropped to 15 percent in 2007, half of what it was in 2001 when HRT was the most commonly used medication by this age group; hypertension drugs were the top medication for these women in 2007 and their use of cholesterol-lowering drugs nearly doubled over the seven years.

Seniors on Multiple Medications: Among older Americans ages 65 and up, 28 percent of females and 22 percent of males take five or more chronic medications.

Medco's Prescription for Care

In response to the growing numbers of patients with chronic conditions, Medco has developed a new clinical approach to treating some of the most common chronic conditions in today's complex prescribing environment. One of the latest advances to Medco's practice of pharmacy is the Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R), where more than 1,100 specialist pharmacists trained in specific disease states such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, asthma and neurological disorders provide counseling to patients with customized care -- helping them achieve better clinical outcomes.

"Specialist pharmacists are a critical component in improving the care model for treating patients with chronic disease," states Epstein. "As their numbers and costs rise, it becomes ever more important to provide these patients with a high level of specialized care to help them better manage their conditions and their drug costs."

About Medco

Medco Health Solutions, Inc., (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager based on its 2007 total net revenues of more than $44 billion. Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering approximately one-in-five Americans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program and those served by its specialty pharmacy segment, Accredo Health Group. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy(TM), is positioned to serve the unique needs of patients with chronic and complex conditions through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R), including its enhanced diabetes pharmacy care practice through the Liberty acquisition. Medco is the highest-ranked independent pharmacy benefit manager on the 2008 Fortune 100 list. On the Net: .

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward- looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course
2. Katie Lee Joel to Conduct Cooking Demonstration for Local Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Study identifies key player in the bodys immune response to chronic stress
4. Preparation for Natural Disasters Critical for People With Diabetes, Chronic Medical Conditions
5. Patient Advocate Foundation Launches Program to Help Uninsured Virginians with Chronic, Debilitating and Life-Threatening Illness Access Quality Healthcare
6. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Hosts Workshop On Weighing Treatment Options For Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
7. Link Between Chronic Pain and Insomnia Uncovered at PAINWeek 2007
8. Methadone and systematic follow-up: the best solution for managing chronic pain
9. NASN Joins Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
10. Stomach Virus a Culprit in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
11. Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to stomach virus
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... of how filthy the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many ... this improved seat cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the ... 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud ... Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is ... only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity Point ... come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are most ... Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, describing ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in ... by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, as ... among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has ... Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Italian Therapeutic ... Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report to ... --> This new 247-page report provides ... monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, sales ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... global healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate ... has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, and ... is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. Federal government ... 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure increased by ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma ... planned investment of at least $15.8  Million to ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will ... to meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: