HHS releases list of most costly drugs

New research by the HHS Agency for Health Research and Quality has found that as of two years ago, Americans spent by far the most on cardiovascular drugs. The new study, which named the top five drug spending categories in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, noted that U.S. adults spent $32 billion on these drugs. Second in the list was hormones, at $25 billion, followed by $24 million on central nervous system medications. The last two categories on the list, cholesterol-lowering drugs and antidepressants, each accounted for about $20 billion. All told, these five classes of drugs accounted for two-thirds of the entire $181 billion spent on outpatient drugs.

For more about the drug cost research:
- check out the release on the drugs
- read this piece from United Press International

ALSO: Newer antidepressants seem to have similar effectiveness, but generate different side effects, according to other AHRQ research. Release

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