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Rising number of older adults skipped medications due to cost

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Washington, May 18 (Prensa Latina) A rising number of older adults (aged over 65) say they cannot afford to pay their prescription medications, according to a study published Thursday in JAMA Network Open.

According to the study, about one in five adults either skipped, delayed, took less medication than was prescribed, or took someone else’s medication last year because of concerns about cost.

The study´s findings were based on a national survey taken by more than 2,000 older adults from June 2022 through September 2022, and revealed how it was so hard for them to afford their medications since 2016, when about one in seven older adults were not taking their medications as prescribed because of cost.

Stacie Dusetzina, a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, attributed the situation to rising inflation and prescription drug costs, which are notoriously high compared to other countries of similar size and wealth.

Sometimes people will keep taking their medication as prescribed despite the cost, but will need to resort to other means – sometimes extreme- to afford the medications.

About 30% of the older adults used a copayment card or coupon to afford their medication. A quarter of the respondents asked a physician for a lower-cost medication, and about 17% of them shopped around at pharmacies to find a lower price.

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