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Psychiatr Serv. 2003 May;54(5):739-42.

Psychotropic medication expenditures for community-dwelling elderly persons.

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College of Pharmacy, South Dakota State University, Box 2202C, 1 Administration Lane, Brookings, SD 57007, USA.


Psychotropic medication expenditures for community-dwelling elderly persons in the United States were examined with the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). According to the MEPS, an estimated $1.07 billion US dollars was spent on psychotropic agents, and 53 percent of that was paid out of pocket. Antidepressants represented 61 percent of psychotropic expenditures. High expenditures were found for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ($469 million US dollars, or 44 percent of psychotropic expenditures), benzodiazepines ($241 million US dollars, or 22 percent), and tricyclic antidepressants ($119 million US dollars, or 11 percent). Estimates for psychotropic expenditures in 2002 totaled $1.41 billion US dollars after adjustment for inflation. Although psychotropic prescription costs were substantial, increased generic medication use and Medicare prescription plans could reduce the financial burden on elderly persons.

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