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 Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Sustained Relief for Severe Depression
19.03.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

nachricht AI study of risk factors in type 1 diabetes
06.03.2019 | University of Gothenburg

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Laser processing is a matter for the head – LZH at the Hannover Messe 2019

25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

A Varied Menu

25.03.2019 | Life Sciences

‘Time Machine’ heralds new era

25.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>