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Too Much of a Good Thing: Researchers ID The 5 Most Overprescribed Tests and Drugs

Last updated: Oct 04, 2011

Doctor Themed Cupcakes

If a doctor orders prescription statins for your or a loved one's high cholesterol, you might want to ask about a generic. Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have fingered $6.7 billion spent last year alone on unnecessary medical tests and medications in primary care in the October 1 Online First edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Using brand-name statins when effective generics would work accounted for 87 percent of that total. The other top money-wasters, according to the report:

  • Orders for complete blood work during physical exams (half weren't needed)
  • Unnecessary bone density scans in younger women
  • CT scans, MRI, or x-rays in people with back pain
  • Over-prescription of antibiotics for kids with sore throat.

The report is summarized in Newswise.

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