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Posted: 12:33 PM- Another study has singled out Utah as the nation's top user of antidepressants.
Express Scripts, Inc., a pharmacy benefit management company, analyzed a random sample of 2.2 million patients in 2000 and three million patients in 2006, all enrolled in commercial health plans.
The company found more U.S. adults are taking prescription drugs than ever before, fueling $12 billion in additional spending during 2006 alone.
The number of people with at least one prescription increased from 67 percent to 74 percent between 2000 and 2006, it said.
Utah stood out in two therapy classes. It was one of only four states that did not more than double the percentage of people using drugs to lower cholesterol levels.
Utah, followed by Kentucky and Maine, had the highest prevalence of people using antidepressants, moving from 16 percent in 2000 to 18.3 percent in 2006.
Previous studies - including statistics gathered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - have noted Utah's high prevalence of antidepressant use. Psychiatrists have speculated that Utahns are more willing to talk about depression and get treatment, and may have better access to care.
Nationwide, the percentage of people using at least one antidepressant rose by nearly 33 percent.
The complete study, with state by state tables, is available at http://www.express-scripts.com/ourcompany/news/outcomesresearch/onlinepublications" Target="_BLANK">http://www.express-scripts.com/ourcompany/news/outcomesresearch/onlinepublications/.