Are systemic corticosteroids frequently prescribed?
No data were available on the frequency of use of corticosteroids in France.
Using national data from health insurance, a team of French researchers was interested in the oral prescriptions of corticosteroids in France during the period 2007-2014.
It was found that about 15% of French subjects were prescribed oral corticosteroid therapy every year, and that this percentage had significantly increased over time (14.7% in 20117, 17.1% in 2014).
Approximately 2/3 of these corticosteroid therapies were prescribed for only a few days. Nearly 2% of individuals had at least 6 cortisone reimbursements per year.
The figure of 15% of the French population exposed to oral corticosteroids each year is much higher than can be seen in other countries (England, Denmark, United States) where less than 5% of the population is exposed each year to these treatments. There may therefore be a French "specificity" concerning the prescriptions of corticosteroids, without knowing whether this is going in the right direction or not.
This study can be accessed here