A new report by the Commonwealth Fund, from their 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, shows that 48 million Americans, ages 19-64, did not fill a prescription due to cost in 2010, up from 29 million in 2001 – a 66% increase. The study includes both insured and uninsured Americans but does not include children and seniors. The study indicates that the recession has greatly exacerbated the national crisis of prescription non-adherence (skipping medications), as nine out of 16 million Americans who have lost their job have also lost their health insurance.
It is difficult to estimate the sickness and even death that has resulted from so many millions of Americans not taking their prescribed medication due to cost. As evidenced by the new report, the situation is particularly dire for uninsured Americans with chronic medical conditions, as 27 million “skipped doses or did not fill a prescription for their condition because of the cost.” (more…)