Demographics is the study of the number and characteristics of people who live in a particular area
or form a particular group, in relation to their age and income. A variety of other variables can
be measured, depending on the study.
I used demographics regularly in my work as a pharmaceutical manufacturers marketing analyst.
Pharmaceuticals are not elastic products (they are used only as needed. The only question is what
brand or generic within a class of drugs is prescribed and dispensed.)
In the past, you may have been asked by your physician to bring a bag of all the prescription drugs
you take to your appointment. The physician or nurse can look at the drugs you take and know
exactly what conditions are being treated.
Drugs such as pain pills, antibiotics and other prescription drugs that are taken only for an
acute, short term basis for the prescriptions written for 10 to 28 days and are not refillable.
These prescriptions make up 20% of those dispensed. In Europe, monthly prescriptions are usually
birth controls pills and are dispensed in 21 days or 28-day packages.
In Europe pharmacies dispense all “maintenance drugs” which are taken once a day in 28’s. In
America a monthly supply is 30.
Dispensing patterns and pharmacy computers as well as Medicaid Drug Utilization Reports show the
NDC data including: state, NDC number which shows the manufacture, product the strength and size of
the container, name of the product, the total number of units dispensed as well as the number of
prescriptions dispensed and the total cost invoiced. The number of pills per prescription is easily
ascertainable. Since all Medicaid programs have monthly limits maintenance medications should
always be 30 or less.
It is important to remember that only the units in the reports can be changed. This enables others
to calculate the number of pills disputed and to calculate the amounts of overcharges and