Fewer doctor visits, less medication

There was a decrease in prescribed medicine and clinical visits last year

Last year, Americans made fewer visits to the doctor and were prescribed less medication than in 2010.

A report compiled by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics found physician visits declined by 4.7 percent, and 1.1 percent fewer prescription medications were issued, according to California Healthline. The decline in prescription drugs was attributed mostly to Americans 65 and older, whose use of medications declined by 3.1 percent.

The overall trend may be due to a shift toward a more conservative health-care attitude as people become more aware of unnecessary procedures and the danger of surgery. “People are more receptive to conversations about medical interventions having both pros and cons,” said Dr. Michael Barry, president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation.