More than one in eight American adults with heart disease delays filling prescriptions, takes lower doses than prescribed or skips doses because of the high out-of-pocket costs, according to a new study published in the journal Circulation and highlighted by Reuters.
The 12.6% “cost-related medication nonadherence” rate translates to an estimated 2.2 million patients, including nearly 1.5 million patients missing doses, 1.6 million taking lower doses and 1.9 million intentionally delaying filling their prescription in order to save money.
People younger than 65 were more than three times as likely as seniors covered by Medicare to cut back on prescribed medications.
“Despite decades of evidence showing the effectiveness of medications like blood pressure lowering drugs and cholesterol lowering statins, none of these drugs can have an opportunity to work unless the patient can afford them,” one of the study’s authors told Reuters.
The study analyzed data from 14,279 adults collected from 2013 through 2017 by the National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.