The study, published today in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) is the first to examine the relationship between drug insurance and the use of prescription drugs in Canada. Researchers from UBC's Centre for Health Services and Policy Research reviewed data from 5,732 people who answered Statistics Canada's Canadian Community Health Survey.
They found that 9.6 per cent of Canadians who received a prescription reported not filling, failing to refill, or skipping doses for cost reasons. The phenomenon is particularly prevalent for Canadians who do not have drug insurance, with 26.5 per cent reporting not being able to afford their prescription drugs.
"Our results clearly demonstrate that cost-related problems in accessing prescription drugs are disproportionately borne by the poor, the sick and the uninsured," says Michael Law, Assistant Professor at UBC's School of Population and Public Health. "More than one in four Canadians without health insurance are forced, financially, to go without the prescription drugs they need."
Prescription drugs fall outside the Canada Health Act, resulting in a "patchwork" of drug coverage that leaves two-thirds of Canadian households paying all or part of their prescription drug costs. The Canadian Institute for Health Information estimated these out-of-pocket payments totaled $4.6 billion in 2010.
The results of the UBC study show that individuals without drug insurance are 4.5 times more likely to avoid taking prescribed medications because of cost. Similarly, Canadians with low incomes are 3.3 times more likely to not use prescription drugs because they cannot afford them.
The study also shows that Canadians who reported fair or poor health status did not take their prescribed medications 2.6 times more often than those who reported good or excellent health; similarly, those with chronic conditions were 1.6 times more likely to not take their medicines as directed due to cost.
Provincially, those living in British Columbia were more than twice as likely to report not being able to afford their prescription drugs than those living in other large provinces. This is a cause for concern, says Law.
"The Canadian most likely to have problems affording their prescription drugs is in poor health, carries no drug insurance, and lives in British Columbia," Law adds.
"As the Provincial Premiers meet in Victoria this week, they should consider expanding and improving public coverage for prescription drugs to reduce the influence of cost on whether or not Canadians can afford their prescription drugs."
Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy