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SoFL Awash in Prescription Drugs: Study


Nearly half of Medicare beneficiaries in South Florida took a pricey brand-name pill -- Prevacid, Prilosec or Nexium -- to control stomach acid in 2010, according to a new study. At 45 percent, the popularity of these proton pump inhibitors is three times its rate in Grand Junction, Colo.

That and other weird prescribing practices in South Florida practically jump off the pages of the new Dartmouth Atlas of Medicare Prescription Drug Use.  The report on seniors’ prescription drug use showed that Medicare patients in Miami spent nearly $1,800 more per year on medications than the national average of $2,968, according to the Miami Herald.

The study showed that health care in the United States is “disorganized”: different medications were prescribed at different rates depending on where the patient lived, including medications deemed harmful for elderly patients.  Many patients were not getting medicines that have proven track records for their conditions, NBC News Health reports.  While drugs for heart and bone health should have been consistent, the prescribing of these meds varied across the U.S.

The Dartmouth Atlas of Medicare Prescription Drug Use can be viewed here.