Retail and Mail Order Drugs Used in 2014-18 and Later Prescribed For COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has placed unprecedented strains on our healthcare system, in some cases prompting novel uses of medications to treat people with COVID-19. Quantifying the use of and expenditures for these medications before COVID-19 informs our understanding of how the drugs’ new uses may cause shortages or price increases that affect people who used these drugs before the pandemic. This data visualization draws upon 2014-18 data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Prescribed Medicines (PMED) files. It includes all prescription fills obtained from retail, mail order, and internet pharmacies. Some medications were not included due to insufficient sample sizes, because they are not administered in outpatient settings, or because they were not widely used until after 2018.
Source: AHRQ MEPS Research Findings #49: Pre-COVID-19 Retail Use and Expenditures for Drugs That Were Subsequently Used to Treat COVID-19.
Use of and Expenditures for COVID-19-Relevant Prescription Medications by Generic Drug Name
A unique feature of the PMED data is that the Household respondents report the condition(s) for which each drug was prescribed. This information is used to present the percent distribution of conditions associated with drugs that were subsequently used to treat COVID-19. Hover over the charts to access information on conditions associated with outpatient use as reported by household respondents.
Hover over the bars in the above figure to access information on the conditions for which each drug was prescribed as reported by household respondents.
- COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Include pleurisy, pneumothorax, pulmonary collapse, respiratory failure, respiratory insufficiency, respiratory signs and symptoms, lung diseases due to external agents, and other lower and upper respiratory diseases.
- URI: upper respiratory infection.
- Include endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases; nutritional deficiencies; malnutrition; obesity; fluid and electrolyte disorders; cystic fibrosis; pituitary disorders; gout and crystal arthropathies; autoinflammatory syndromes; and other specified and unspecified endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic disorders.
- Include diseases of the circulatory system; peripheral and visceral vascular disease; arterial dissections; aortic, peripheral, and visceral artery aneurysms; aortic and peripheral arterial embolism or thrombosis; hypotension; acute and chronic phlebitis, thrombophlebitis and thromboembolism; varicose veins of lower extremity; post-thrombotic syndrome and venous insufficiency or venous hypertension; vasculitis; hemorrhoids; other specified disease of veins and lymphatics; and other specified and unspecified circulatory disease.