Skimping most common among those who pay the most out-of-pocket, earn the least, or don’t have prescription drug coverage
A recent nationally representative survey of older adults finds that 18 percent of those with chronic conditions such as heart disease and depression skip some of their prescription medicines because of out-of-pocket cost pressures, and 14 percent do so at least every month. Based on the studys findings, the authors estimate that every month, this cost-related medication skimping leads more than a million Americans with diabetes to use less medication for that illness than was prescribed to them, and causes more than 1.6 million people with asthma to miss some of their doses of medication.
The findings, from a nationally representative survey of 4,055 adults over the age of 50, are published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health by a team from the University of Michigan Health System, the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Stanford University. The study was funded by the VA. Not surprisingly, the study finds that seniors whose out-of-pocket prescription costs are more than $100 a month, and those with low incomes or no prescription drug coverage, are at the greatest risk for skimping on their medications.
Kara Gavin | EurekAlert!
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