Prescription drug statistics … if you sought the most important facts you REALLY need to know from the prescription drug companies themselves, you of course would not find them. Drug companies have ranked as one of the top three most profitable industries in the world for years, so they certainly don’t want these statistics below widely known to dent those profits.
If you sought the the prescription drug statistics you REALLY need to know from the mass media, you of course won’t hear them there either — prescription drug companies spend $5 BILLION dollars on TV advertising alone, so why would the mainstream news want to upset and lose one of its best customers?
In fact, because the drug companies have the mainstream media in their back pocket, and preventative health is the enemy of drug company profits (less sick people = less of a market for prescription drugs), the big TV news networks are more than happy to support the drug companies’ war on vitamins, supplements, and natural health.
(BIG CLUE: See the statistics below on the prescription drug deaths annually versus deaths from supplements annually, and ask yourself WHY the mainstream media is portraying supplements and other natural health approaches as dangerous but prescription drugs as the savior of the world?)
Finally, if you sought the prescription drug statistics you REALLY need to know directly from the government, here are the three words that will prevent you from getting them: pharmaceutical company lobbyists.
At $270 million dollars in the U.S. alone, the drug companies’ federal lobbying expenditures outpace ALL other business industries and special interests. Like their counterparts in the mainstream media, the FDA (Fast Drug Approvals!) is eager to help their best customer by far — the pharmaceutical companies — by driving up your costs for vitamins and supplements astronomically.
They intend to do this by creating guidelines that make it extremely difficult for the preventative health industry to manufacture vitamins and supplements, amongst other attacks on natural health and wellness.
(Because again, if people en masse actually practiced preventative health, sickness would be dramatically reduced. The pharmaceutical companies’ entire business model depends on sickness, so their profits would be dramatically reduced. And that would mean less and less money for the prescription drug companies to shovel into Washington, D.C.!)
Meanwhile, just see the prescription drug statistics below — and please share this page with others via your Facebook page, Tweets, email, blogs, etc., because everyone deserves to know this information!
And then ask yourself, why aren’t these disgusting statistics being treated like the national (and international) emergency that they are?
Please do share your comments on this question above (click next to Comments), on these prescription drug statistics, and/or provide any other statistics or insights you have on this topic to help us expose the TRUTH to the world and wrestle our very lives (and our health freedom) BACK from the drug companies, the mainstream media, and the government!
20 Prescription Drug Statistics You REALLY Need to Know
- Over 100,000 people die each year from prescription drug side effects in the U.S. alone. This does NOT include deaths from doctors accidentally prescribing the wrong drugs, nor from pharmacists filling the prescription incorrectly, nor from patients overdosing. It is from “side effects”! (Read Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs.)
- U.S. hospitalizations for poisonings by prescription drugs including opiods, sedatives, and tranquilizers increased a total of 65% between 1999 and 2006 alone. Those hospitalized were most likely to be women over age 34.
- The rates of death from these poisonings by prescription drugs has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury death.
- There are typically NO deaths from vitamins or dietary supplements in the U.S. in any given year. In 2007, the latest year for available statistics on this from the U.S. National Poison Data System, the sum total was zero deaths.
- Prescription painkiller drug abuse, meanwhile, accounts for an additional 15,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. That’s 40 Americans dying each day, more than the number of deaths from heroin and cocaine use combined.
- Pharmaceuticals are a $650 billion dollar a year business — $307 billion in the U.S. alone — and for years the most profitable U.S. business has been the pharmaceutical companies.
- Pharmaceutical companies spend almost TWICE as much on marketing — around $60 billion annually — as they do on research. And what they do spend on research is largely for drugs that merely treat diseases, and compete with other drug companies’ treatment drugs, not drugs that cure diseases (curing disease would be highly unprofitable for them!)
- 56% of this marketing is free samples, and 25% is “detailing” of physicians
- A study by researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that, on average, a 10% increase in direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs within a therapeutic drug class resulted in a 1% increase in sales of the drugs in that class.
- Prescription drug prices keep rising — in 2010, the average price increase for brand-name prescription drugs was 6.9%. Some of the prescription drugs with the largest price increases include the blood-pressure pill Benicar, which saw a 29.4% increase; the attention-deficit-disorder drug Concerta, which saw a 19.7% increase; and the cholesterol drug Lipitor, which saw a 12.4% increase.
- About HALF of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and one out of six take three or more prescription drugs.
- Of people over the age of 60, 88% are taking at least one prescription drug. Almost 45% of those over 60 take cholesterol-lowering prescriptions — the #1 prescription drug for that age group and more than double the rate from 1999!
- One in five prescriptions filled for those over the age of 65 are classified as a “drug of concern,” meaning potentially severe adverse effects.
- Medical errors may result in between 44,000 and 98,000 preventable deaths and over 1,000,000 excess injuries in the U.S. Of these, medication errors are the most common medical mistakes.
- 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries occur each year in hospitals, 800,000 in long-term care settings, and roughly 530,000 among Medicare recipients in outpatient clinics.
- Antidepressants are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S., with about 120 million prescribed annually and used by about 27 million Americans. The most common market for antidepressants are those age 20 to 59.
- Use of antidepressants tripled between 1988-94 and 1999-2000, nearly doubled between 1995-2002, and are still experiencing an astronomical rise. According to Dr. David M. Reiss, a San Diego psychiatrist, in an American Medical News report, “Contributing to the rise in antidepressant prescriptions are direct-to-patient advertisements that suggest many common conditions, such as mild anxiety, stress and trouble sleeping, need to be treated medically.“
- The proportion of non-psychiatrists doctor visits where antidepressants were prescribed without a documented psychiatric diagnosis increased from 59.5 percent to 72.7 between 1996 and 2007.
- In 1999, 3% of adolescents were prescribed drugs for ADHD. Today, that number has risen to over 6%, making it the most common prescription drug for that age group.
- Meanwhile in England, prescriptions for strong painkiller drugs have seen a 400% increase in the past ten years
- ALSO SEE the Nursing Online Education Database’s 25 Shocking Facts About the Pharmaceutical Industry
The prescription drug statistics above paint a picture that is easy for you — and everyone you pass this page along to — to see.
Yes, some prescription drugs may be necessary … but certainly not at the ever-increasing volumes being ferociously marketed and therefore prescribed. It CAN and DOES brainwash people (many of whom are desperately confronting illness and therefore vulnerable) into believing that taking prescription drugs IS healthcare when in fact it is largely a band-aid approach.
A pharmaceutical industry that thrives on people being sick for its profits — and a government and mainstream media heavily manipulated by that industry — does NOT translate into anything remotely close to quality healthcare (and that is understatement.)
So do you really want to put the control of your health into what I will just bluntly call the three-headed-monster?
Yes, because you should OWN your own health — as much as they want to rip that ownership away from you for obvious reasons — you do have to be responsible in ensuring the insights, vitamins, supplements, foods, and other tools you decide to employ in your healthcare are reputable. Make sure the organizations you receive them from are reputable and have research to back their tools, for example.
BUT with the above prescription drug statistics in mind — and with whatever knowledge you already have about the pharmaceutical industry, the mainstream media, and the government — do you really want them controlling what you can and cannot choose to do with your health? Do you trust them?
Please share your thoughts on these questions, about this article —
and your own insights and/or statistics on this topic —
in the Comments area above.
And again, please DO share this page via email, Facebook, Twitter, your own blog or website, etc. Because I hope you will agree that these are some prescription drug statistics that everyone deserves to know!
Written By: Updated: November 10,2011