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An analysis of Americans' health found that just over 44% of all Americans take at least 1 prescription drug, and 16.5% take at least 3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that those rates were up 39% and 12% between 1988 and 1994. The annual report "Health, United States 2004" presents the latest data collected by federal health agencies, academic and professional health associations, and international health organizations.
The study found that prescription drugs were the fastest growing expenditure. The price of drugs rose 5%, but greater use of medicines increased total expenditures 15.3% in 2002. The study also found the following: