The U.S. has been battling a growing drug use epidemic for several years…[so] how much people are spending on prescription drugs in your state? Let’s take a look at the numbers to get an idea.
Fatal overdoses in the United States continue to increase. Latest data (from 2016 to 2017) shows an increase of 9.6%…and, unsurprisingly, this correlates with an increase in prescription drug spending. In 2018, individuals in the United States spend a total of nearly $400 million on prescription drugs.
A look at the numbers surrounding the current drug epidemic in the U.S. can help give you a better idea of the severity of this issue…and what it implies for the future.
- North Dakota has both the lowest spending per capita on prescription drugs ($734) and the lowest number of deaths by overdose (68).
- Low spending per capita on prescription drugs does not necessarily indicate a lower number of overdose-related deaths. California, for example, has the second lowest spending per capita ($788) and the fourth most deaths from overdose (4,868).
- The largest spending category on prescription drugs in the country is commercial — meaning, the majority of these prescriptions are covered by commercial and government programs.
- 25 out of 50 states had over 1,000 fatal opioid overdoses in 2019 with only three states having less than 100 fatal overdoses — indicating that the drug epidemic is a national concern, not a localized issue…
Most people would assume that either larger populations or some other correlating factor would present itself in the data. What we tend to see, however, is that the higher the expenses per capita, the higher the opioid prescription rates.
- You see this in places like Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas but this isn’t always true.
- States like Wisconsin and Connecticut have high per capita spending, but low amounts of opioid prescriptions.
- In fact, there isn’t necessarily a correlation between opioid deaths per capita and either the total expenses per capita or the prescription rate per 100 people.