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Younger Patients More Likely to Skip Medications to Save Money

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Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY, April 9, 2013: Study: Younger patients more likely to skip medications

People younger than 65 are twice as likely to skip medications than older Americans, according to a study released today by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (click here for the study – PDF: “Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs”).

from the CDC study
Key Findings: Data from the National Health Interview Survey, 2011

  • Adults aged 18–64 and those aged 65 and over were equally likely to have asked their doctor for a lower-cost medication to save money on prescription drugs (19.8% and 20.3%, respectively).
  • Adults aged 18–64 were twice as likely to not have taken medication as prescribed to save money (12.6%) compared with adults aged 65 and over (5.8%).
  • Among adults aged 18–64, uninsured adults (23.1%) were more likely than those with Medicaid (13.6%) or those with private coverage (8.7%) to not have taken medication as prescribed to save money.
  • Among adults aged 65 and over, those with only Medicare coverage were more likely to ask their doctor for a lower-cost medication to save money (24.9%) compared with those who had private coverage (20.1%) and those with Medicare and Medicaid (14.7%) coverage.

The new CDC study found that about 13% of the Americans younger than 65 did not take their medications as prescribed to save money, while 6% of the older group skipped medications. About 6% of both groups tried alternative therapies to avoid prescription drug costs. Researchers used data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey, a survey that has gone out through the U.S. Census since 1956.

Not taking medications as prescribed can lead to poorer health or emergency-room visits, according to the CDC report, a finding backed by other recent studies. In fact, the New England Healthcare Institute found that non-adherence to prescriptions costs Americans as much as $290 billion a year.

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2017-05-18T18:53:59+00:00