Cardiovascular medicines are key elements in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. This bulletin uses data on supply, general practitioner (GP) prescriptions, use and expenditure to highlight that cardiovascular medicines are most commonly used to help control levels of blood pressure and blood lipids, such as cholesterol.
* Over 100 million Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme/Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescriptions for cardiovascular medicines were dispensed to the Australian community in 2015. These comprised one-third (34%) of the total prescription medicines dispensed.
* Blood pressure lowering medicines (such as perindopril and irbesartan) and blood cholesterol lowering medicines (such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin) were the most commonly dispensed prescription medicines in Australia in 2015.
* Almost 1 in 5 (18%) of all medications prescribed by GPs in 2015-16 were for the cardiovascular system, at a rate of 9.4 per 100 problems managed. Many of these prescriptions included orders for repeats.
* Almost three-quarters (72%) of the estimated 4.1 million Australians who reported having a cardiovascular condition in 2014-15 had used a cardiovascular system medicine in the previous fortnight.
Medicines for cardiovascular disease