Patients skipping doses, taking less medication or delaying filling prescriptions
THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Nearly one in 10 American adults don’t take their medications as prescribed because they can’t afford to, according to a January data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The researchers used data from the 2013 National Health Interview for the report. Overall, they found, 7.8 percent of adults admitted not taking medication as recommended because of high costs. Insurance was a key factor in whether patients took their medications as prescribed. Among adults younger than 64, 6.1 percent with private insurance skipped medications to save money, compared with 10.4 percent of those with Medicaid and 14.0 percent of uninsured patients.
The poorest adults — those with incomes below 139 percent of the poverty level (about $27,300 for a family of three last year) — were most likely to not take medication as prescribed because of limited finances, the researchers found.
According to the report, 15.1 percent of U.S. adults have asked their doctor for a lower-cost alternative. Moreover, 1.6 percent have bought prescription drugs from another country — where medications may or may not be regulated — and 4.2 percent have tried alternative therapies. Skimping on prescription drugs because of financial concerns was seen at every age, but much more so in people younger than 65.
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