States with top 10 average yearly per-capita expenditure on prescriptions. (The Senior List)
A new analysis shows how much the average resident in each state spends on prescription drugs. Kentucky took the second spot, with an average annual per-capita expense of $2,111, with Delaware spending the most at $2,331, according to The Senior List.
It should come as no surprise that Kentuckians spend so much on prescription medications, since the state ranks at or near the bottom for most health conditions.
The data came from the Kaiser Family Foundation, GoodRx and the National Conference on State Legislatures.
The top 10 states ranged from some of the poorest, where health conditions also tend to be poor, to some of the wealthiest, where ability to pay for more expensive brand-name drugs may be a factor.
Whatever the cause, Americans are spending far more on prescriptions these days than in years past. In 2017, the average American spent $1,025 per year on prescriptions, a 1,000% increase over the average $90 (adjusted for inflation) spent in 1960.
An aging population factors into this: Almost half of Americans take at least one prescription medication, but among seniors it’s nearly 90%. Drug costs are taking a financial toll on some; about one in four Americans say they’re having a hard time affording their prescriptions.
Part of the problem is that the U.S. pays more for the same drugs than other countries do. A month’s supply of the popular blood thinner Humira, for example, costs $882 in Switzerland, $1,362 in the United Kingdom, and $2,669 in the U.S.