Trends in Prescription Drug Use Among Adults in the United States From 1999-2012

Use of prescription drugs represents a major expenditure in the United States,1 and research suggests that use of prescription drugs is increasing.2 Yet much of the information about prescription use is derived from pharmacy databases or expenditure data,1,3,4 neither of which directly captures use at the population level. Although several studies have sought to assess prescription drug use on the population level,5– 15 these studies are either outdated, narrow in scope, or limited to certain populations such as older individuals or those with a given clinical indication.