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The consumption of pharmaceuticals is increasing across OECD countries not only in terms of expenditure (see Indicator 7.4 "Pharmaceutical expenditure"), but also in terms of volume (or quantity) of drugs consumed. One of the factors
contributing to the rise in pharmaceutical consumption is the ageing of the population, which leads to growing demand for drugs to treat or at least control different ageing‐related diseases. But the trend rise in pharmaceutical consumption is also observed in countries
where the population ageing process is less advanced, indicating that other factors such as physicians' prescription habits or the degree of cost‐sharing with patients also play a role.