STORY AT-A-GLANCE
Prescription drug use is at record highs, with about 19 prescriptions filled for every American in 2020, amounting to 6.3 billion prescriptions — and it’s getting worse
U.S. girls born in 2019 may spend 60% of their lives on prescription drugs, while boys may spend 48%
In modern medicine, drugs are designed to be taken for extended periods and, often, for the rest of a lifetime
For those born in 2019, women can expect to take prescription drugs for 47.54 years while men may take them for 36.84 years
By the age of 40, most U.S. men take prescription drugs; for women, however, this occurs by age 15

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