13 million people detained or did not receive prescription drugs before the pandemic

Nearly 13 million adults deferred or did not receive prescription drugs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic due to cost, according to a new study.

According to Urban Institute Estimated annual average 2018 and 2019 Medicare Spending Survey data from nearly 30,000 Americans. More than 3% of Medicare recipients – and almost 7% of recipients with unmet need for prescription drugs – spent more than 10% of their household income on prescription drugs.

According to the researchers, adherence to treatment continued to decline, while co-payment increased during the pandemic, which is likely to lead to an increase in hospital admissions.

“This proportion of deaths in the United States are preventable,” said Catherine Hempstead, senior political adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, adding that most deaths are attributed to chronic uncontrollable disease. “When you cannot take your medicine, it negates most of your medical care. This shortens people’s lives and leads to more costly treatment in the future. ”

Taking your prescribed medications is critical to improving your health. But rising out-of-pocket spending continues to reduce adherence to treatment.

According to a study by the Urban Institute, about 10% of uninsured adults reported unmet need for prescription drugs, compared with 4.9% of Medicare recipients, 3% of privately insured adults, and 5.6% of older adults with Medicaid.

Women, low-income people, and people with multiple chronic illnesses were the most likely to refuse medication.

“It shows us once again that no matter how tough healthcare is, it can be even more difficult for communities of color and disadvantaged people. If you look at cost sharing as a percentage of income, it starts to get significant very quickly, ”he said. – said Dr. Harry Greenspan, chief physician of the consulting company Guidehouse. “If we don’t start addressing health equity at the systemic level, we will continue to face these challenges.”

Other research suggests that rising out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs can be fatal. The $ 10.40 increase in personal prescription costs was associated with a 22.6% drop in consumption and a 32.7% increase in monthly mortality, according to a recent analysis of over 358,000 relatively healthy 65-year-old Medicare recipients.

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