Prescribed medicines: findings from the National Medical Care Expenditure Survey

Am J Public Health. 1983 Nov;73(11):1312-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.73.11.1312.


In 1977 the National Center for Health Services Research, US Department of Health and Human Services, undertook a survey of 40,000 individuals in the United States, soliciting information on expenditures and sources of payment for health services including prescribed medicines. Differences in the use of prescribed medicines by age, sex, ethnic/racial background, family income, and perceived health status were found across and within therapeutic categories. More than one-fifth of expenditures were for cardiovascular-renal agents. Sources of payment were similar in all but a few therapeutic categories.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Central Nervous System Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Prescriptions / economics*
  • Drug Utilization / economics
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Health Expenditures / trends*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • Gastrointestinal Agents