BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The United States wasted over $418 billion on bad medication decisions in 2012.
The impact was most deeply felt in states that could least afford it, including Alabama.
Waste was defined as extra medication-related spending that provided no additional clinical benefit.
This includes the use of high-priced prescription drugs and pharmacies when clinically equivalent or superior alternatives existed.
It also includes unnecessary medical expenses that could have been avoided by patients adhering to their medical therapies.
Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company, conducted the research.
Their research shows Mississippi had the most wasteful spending.
The state spent over 1,600 dollars per resident.
The top five worst spenders were Mississippi, Lousiana, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee, respectively.
Southern states are typically associated with higher rates of chronic diseases, which could explain the frequent wasteful spending patterns.
According to the research, states with the lowest levels of avoidable costs were predominately located in the Midwest of Northeast.
Vermont wasted the least amount per capita.
Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42