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Are Americans age 45+ Using Prescription Drugs Wisely: A 2006 Study

“Wise use of prescription drugs” is a very broad term that encompasses many aspects of prescription drug behaviors. This study sought to understand midlife and older Americans' experiences with prescription drugs including medication compliance, discussions with physicians and pharmacists, opinions regarding generic drugs, personal medication record use, and financial aspects of prescription drugs.

Of those surveyed, the study found that...

  • 84 percent take at least one prescription or non-prescription medication on a regular basis, and 98 percent say they know why they take each
  • most are more likely to talk to their physicians about prescription drug issues than to their pharmacists
  • 33 percent have a personal medication record
  • 61 percent support generic substitution for brand name drugs all or some of the time

This telephone survey was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research among a representative sample of 1,200 Americans age 45 and over during December 2006. Over-samples were also obtained for Hispanic and African American respondents and residents of New Hampshire and Iowa, producing 2800 total interviews. Further information about the study may be obtained from its author, Laura Skufca, at 202-434-6285. (85 pages)

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