Prescription per capita in the United States by age group 2013

The average number of prescriptions per capita in the U.S. was, on average, 12.2 per capita in 2013. Trends indicate that the number of prescriptions per capita increases with age. Those aged 65-79 years utilize, on average 27.3 prescriptions per year. The number of prescriptions filled in the U.S. has increased in recent years.

Prescription drugs in the U.S.

It is expected that there will be 4.57 billion prescriptions filled annually by the year 2024. The total percentage of the U.S. population that had used prescription drugs in the past 30 days was about 47 percent as of 2014. The top therapeutic area in the U.S. in 2016 was represented through antihypertensive drugs, followed by pain management drugs.

The U.S. pharmaceutical industry

Residents in the U.S. pay some of the highest pharmaceutical per capita costs worldwide. One consequence of high pharmaceutical costs in the U.S. is a booming pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry, which is responsible for the production and development of prescription drugs, in the U.S. has grown significantly in recent years. Domestic revenue from U.S. pharmaceutical companies was about 225 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.

Prescriptions per capita in the U.S. in 2013, by age group*

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Release date

April 2014


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Dispensed prescriptions in retail and mail order pharmacies.

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