During last year, 70 % of the population received prescription pills from a dispenser. Medication for high blood pressure, and cholesterol, topped the list, and their usage increases.
‘A general explanation is that as the population is getting older, more drugs are being processed, and more people are using the newer drugs’, said senior adviser, Christian Lie Berg at the NIPH Department of Pharmacoepidemiology to Dagbladet newspaper.
The figures from the Norwegian Prescription Database show that the number of people on blood pressure medication has led to an increase of 2 %, from 855,000 to 872,000 in 2016.
The number of users of cholesterol medication increased by 3 %, from 530,000 to 546,000.
Number of users of allergy medications also rose last year by 3.4 %, from 846,000 to 875,000.
In recent years there has also been an increase in the use of the prescription medication, Tylenol, with a stronger variant of the drug. Last year, 479,000 people received at least one prescription for Tylenol.
‘We don’t want a large percentage of the population on painkillers. The question is whether the threshold for resorting to painkillers has become too low’, said general practitioner and professor of social medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Steinar Westin.
Most prescription drugs are increasing in use, except for antibiotics, where the number of users per 1,000 inhabitants has dropped from 251 to 211 in the past five years, a reduction of 16 %. The goal is a 30 % reduction by 2020.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today