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medication also called medicament, , pharmaceutical drugmedicinal drug or simply drug is a drug used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease.


In Europe, the term is “medicinal product”, and it is define by EU law as:

“Any substance or combination of substances present as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings.

In the US, a “drug” is:

A substance recognized by an official pharmacopeia or formulary.

other than food intended to affect the structure or any function of the body.

intended for use as a component of a medicine but not a device or a component, part or accessory of a device.


Drug use among elderly Americans has been studied;

in a group of 2377 people with average age of 71 surveyed between 2005 and 2006, 84% took at least one prescription drug,

44% took at least one over-the-counter (OTC) drug, and 52% took at least one dietary supplement

in a group of 2245 elderly Americans (average age of 71) surveyed over the period 2010 – 2011, those percentages were 88%, 38%, and 64%.