We don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but more reports keep coming out informing us, and hopefully our elected officials, too, that people are not taking their medication due to cost. Most recently it is the Mayo Clinic.
Based on a study of 209 patients prescribed heart medications, researchers found that among patients who did a poor job following prescriptions, financial concern was the main reason: 46 percent reported that they had stopped taking statins or not filled a prescription because of cost, and 23 percent acknowledged skipping doses to save money.
If there was ever ambiguity about whether high drug prices are a major threat to the public health, there is no longer. Data gathered by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the National Consumer’s League, and Harvard School of Public Health, and, now, from the Mayo Clinic proves the point. We’ve dedicated time and effort in finding solutions to this health emergency. Our Consumer Guide can help Americans alleviate this burden and our advocacy initiative provides them with a platform to speak up to their elected officials.
Tagged with: Advocacy, Center for Disease Control, consumer guide, Harvard School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, medication, National Consumer's League, prescription abandonment, skipping medicine, United States
Last month we reported on the national crisis of high prescription drug prices, showing that at the beginning of the recession 40% of Americans were struggling to afford their prescription drug prices (Harvard School of Public Health). Sadly, new data further highlights this national emergency and shows that the problem is getting worse. Focusing on Americans with insurance, a report by Wolter Kluwer Pharma Solutions found that 14.4% of new prescriptions were not filled in 2009, an increase of 5.5% over 2008. The study attributed the increase to rising co-payments. In fact, 24% more prescriptions were simply abandoned in 2009 than 2008. Prescription abandonment is when a patient does not pick up his or her prescription at the pharmacy. The problem is more acute with brand name drugs than generics.
To stop the increasing tide of Americans skipping their medications due to cost, it is more urgent than ever that increase access to safe and affordable medication. In the short term, healthcare reform will provide limited drug price relief but will not significantly help struggling Americans any time soon. However, low-cost online pharmacies and personal drug importation can play an important role in making sure Americans are taking the medicines they need right now. Canadian and other international online pharmacies, for example, offer drug savings of about 70% on brand name drugs. Legalizing personal drug importation and educating consumers about how to safely order prescription drugs from such pharmacies is the right prescription.
Tagged with: Drug Price S.O.S., Harvard School of Public Health, health reform, Healthcare Reform, prescription abandonment, wolter kluwer
To launch our new blog, we thought we’d get to the heart of the matter. Prescription drug prices are out of reach for almost half the country. Brand name drugs are, on average, 50% higher in the United States than other countries. In fact, when comparing prescription drug prices online, the savings outside the U.S. are over 70%. That is the main reason Americans have turned to online pharmacies and personal drug importation. (more…)
Tagged with: Drug Importation, Drug Price S.O.S., Drug Prices, Harvard School of Public Health