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Prescription costs rise more than 6 times when patients reach 65 says study of 5M people
Date:3/13/2008

(85 per cent of boys and 81 per cent of girls) and adults over 54.

  • The only categories not to reach 100 per cent prescribing rates over the age of 54 were men aged 55 to 64 (85 per cent) and men who were 85 years plus (91 per cent).

  • The most common prescriptions for children under four were for pain killers and fever-reducing drugs, followed by cough suppressants.

  • The authors found a higher use of antibiotics in children under 14 than reported in other studies and suggested that this could indicate that doctors were over prescribing them.

  • Female patients were prescribed more drugs than men (81 per cent compared to 68 per cent), except in children under 15 where the percentage was higher in males.

  • Women were more than twice as likely to use antidepressants as men (12 per cent versus five per cent) and this was most notable in the 35 to 44 age group.

Our study underlines the significantly higher costs of prescribing to older patients and this information is vital at a time when we face a progressively ageing population concludes co-author Eladio Fernandez-Liz of the Institut Catala de la Salut, who analysed the data. It also provides a detailed breakdown of the drugs most commonly prescribed in ten age groups and by gender.

By combining this information with details of the local patient population, our study can help healthcare providers to predict future prescription costs and look at specific health interventions in those age groups with the heaviest prescription drug use.


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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Source:Eurekalert

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