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Many Americans Are Skipping on Medication to Save Money

A new report shows that close to 1 in 10 adults ages 18 to 64 who were taking prescription medication in 2021 did not take it as prescribed to save money – an issue that was more common among groups including women, the uninsured and those not in good standing. health.

According to the report, published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and based on a nationally representative survey, about 58% of adults in that age range took prescription medication within the past 12 months in 2021. More than 9 million – or 8.2 % – of those adults sought to cut costs by skipping doses, taking less medication or delaying getting a prescription filled.

These practices were particularly common among the uninsured, 22.9% of whom took such measures. Just 6.5% of privately insured adults and 8.0% of those on Medicaid did the same.

Those in fair or poor health also diverted from taking their medications as prescribed nearly three times as often as those in excellent, very good or good health, while those with disabilities had a 20.0% rate compared with 7.1% for those without disabilities.

The report also showed disparities by race and gender, with women (9.1%) as well as Black (10.4%), Hispanic (9.7%) and adults of other races (11.5%) more likely to have taken cost-cutting measures with their medicine. On the other hand, rates were similar among all age groups in the study.

The report notes that out-of-pocket expenses on retail pharmaceuticals will total $63 billion in 2021, marking a 4.8% increase from a year prior despite no increase in the average price per prescription.

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