According to a recent report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of adults in the United States do not take their prescribed medications because of cost.
In 2021, the majority of adults aged 18 to 64 will have taken at least one prescription drug. CDC data shows that more than 8% - or 9.2 million people – said they were trying to save money, either by taking less medication than prescribed, skipping doses or delaying a refill.
The average cost of drugs did not rise in 2021 but the number prescriptions did. This increased spending. According to the CDC, more than a third (35%) of adults used at least three prescription drugs in 2021. IQVIA, a health analytics company, shows that the total cost of prescription drugs rose by nearly 5% between 2020 and 2021. This equates to $63 billion.
Delay or adjust medications can have more serious health consequences and increase the possibility of additional costs, if necessary.
In an earlier study, it was found that approximately 1 in 6 diabetics rationed their insulin.
The study's lead author, Dr. Adam Gaffney a pulmonologist at Harvard Medical School, and a doctor in critical care, said that the main conclusion was that 1.3 millions people were rationing insulin in the United States. This is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. This is a life-saving drug. Insulin rationing can lead to life-threatening complications.
The new CDC statistics show that drug costs are a major factor in people not taking their medication as prescribed.
To reduce costs, nearly a quarter of adults who do not have health insurance did not take prescribed medications. This compares to less than 7% for those with private insurance.
People with fair to poor health are also more likely than those in good health to ration medications.
According to CDC data, women were more likely than men to be affected.
Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics analysed responses to the National Health Interview Survey 2021, a representative survey among US households.