Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Underusing medications because of cost may lead to adverse health outcomes

25.06.2004


Middle-aged and older Americans with heart disease who cut back on their prescribed medications because of cost were 50% more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, or angina than those who did not report cost-related medication underuse, according to a new study funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A., at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI, and colleagues* conducted the study, which appears in the July 2004 issue of Medical Care, a journal of the American Public Health Association.

This is the first nationally representative longitudinal study to demonstrate that patients with serious chronic illnesses experience adverse health events when they restrict their use of prescription drugs due to cost. The downturns in patients’ health were observed over a relatively brief (2-3 year) period, suggesting that cost barriers to prescription drug use may have important short-term effects on older patients’ health and well-being, Heisler said.

"This study underlines how important medications can be and how important it is for people who need the medications to be able to get them," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "This is why a new drug benefit for Medicare was so crucial, including the interim drug card with its special benefit for low-income Americans. It’s also why FDA is working to make generic products available quickly, as well as rapid review for significant new medications. We need to keep working toward better access to drugs and keep supporting the science that underlies ever-improving products."



The study included 7,991 middle-aged and older Americans who participated in a survey conducted between 1995 and 1996 as part of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an NIA-supported survey of adults aged 51 to 61, or the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) Study, a national survey of adults aged 70 or older.** All participants reported using prescription medication, and 546 reported that they had taken less medication than prescribed because of cost. Heisler and colleagues assessed a range of important health outcomes reported in participants’ subsequent surveys, conducted in 1998.

After controlling for risk factors for poor health outcomes, 32% of adults who had restricted medications because of cost pressures reported a significant decline in their self-reported health status during their follow-up interviews compared to 21% of adults with no cost-related underuse. Self-reports of health have been found to strongly predict other serious life events, including mortality, according to the study.

"There is a growing array of effective but often expensive prescription medications that clearly improve health outcomes, especially in the field of cardiovascular disease. As medications become even more effective, differences in access to prescriptions drugs because of cost may further worsen disparities in health outcomes between rich and poor Americans," Heisler said.

"This study suggests what can happen when older people cannot get the medications they need and will help inform policy regarding prescription drug insurance coverage," said Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D., NIA Associate Director for the Behavioral and Social Research Program. "The longitudinal design employed in this study suggests that the cost of drugs can lead to drug underuse and that this underuse could in turn contribute to adverse health outcomes. Additional research will be needed to further examine the causal relationship between drug costs and health outcomes."

In addition to cardiovascular declines, older individuals who restricted medication use because of cost had increased rates of depression, according to the study. Researchers found no health differences among people with arthritis and diabetes who said they had restricted drug use due to cost. Community-dwelling people over 65 paid an average of $410 for their drugs in 1999, and adults with multiple, chronic diseases paid twice as much, according to a cited study.

Jeannine Mjoseth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nia.nih.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>