HealthDay News — Nearly one in 10 American adults don’t take their medications as prescribed because they can’t afford to, according to a data brief published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The researchers used data from the 2013 National Health Interview for the report. Overall, they found, 7.8% 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% with private insurance skipped medications to save money, compared with 10.4% of those with Medicaid and 14.0% of uninsured patients.
The poorest adults — those with incomes below 139% 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% of U.S. adults have asked their doctor for a lower-cost alternative. Moreover, 1.6% 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.