WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- American adults spent $32 billion on cardiovascular drugs in 2004, placing them at the top of the costliest drug list.
Hormones, which cost $25 billion, were the second-costliest drug class, followed by the $24 billion spent on central nervous system drugs, according to a study of 2004 data, the most recent year available, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Health Research and Quality.
Cholesterol-lowering medications and anti-depressants rounded out the top five with costs of about $20 billion each.
The five costliest classes of drugs combined accounted for two-thirds -- or $119 billion -- of the $181 billion total expenditures spent on outpatient prescription medications by U.S. adults in 2004.
Seniors used $17 billion worth of cardiovascular drugs, making them the top drug class for Medicare beneficiaries.