Medical advances in drug treatment and health care have contributed to Americans living longer than ever before. As the population ages, the volume of medications prescribed increases dramatically. Unwanted medications accumulate in the home for a variety of reasons, changes in prescription or dosage, patient gets better or in worse cases the patient dies.
Although senior citizens comprise 13 percent of the total population in the United States, they account for over 30 percent of all prescriptions dispensed, and over 40 percent of all prescription drug spending. According to a 2011 survey by StateHealthFacts.org, the average senior citizen age 65 and older in Michigan fills 23.7 prescriptions per year, almost double that of Michigan adults age 19 to 64.