A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals a greater need for pharmacists to manage Americans’ growing prescription drug load.

More than 48% of Americans took at least 1 prescription drug each month in 2008—a 10% increase over the past 10 years, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As new drugs are introduced and new uses for old drugs are found, more patients can have improved health and quality of life with the appropriate use of prescription drugs,” researchers said in the study. Medications to treat asthma, attention deficit disorder, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol were among the most commonly used drugs.

Investigating the use of multiple prescription drugs, the report revealed key findings for pharmacists. The use of more than 1 prescription drug rose by 20%, and the use of more than 5 prescription drugs rose by a staggering 70%, compared with the previous decade. From 2007 to 2008, 50% of all Americans used at least 1 or more prescription drugs, and 1 of every 10 Americans used 5 or more.

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