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Cost-related medication underuse among chronically ill adults: the treatments people forgo, how often, and who is at risk.

Piette JD, Heisler M, Wagner TH. Cost-related medication underuse among chronically ill adults: the treatments people forgo, how often, and who is at risk. American journal of public health. 2004 Oct 1; 94(10):1782-7.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: We sought information about the cost-related underuse of medications-which medications are underused, by whom, and how often. METHODS: Chronically ill adults were asked to identify how often they underused prescription medication for 16 health conditions because of the cost. RESULTS: Eighteen percent of respondents cut back on medication use owing to cost in the previous year, and 14% used less medication at least monthly. Although rates of underuse varied substantially across treatments, prescription coverage and out-of-pocket costs were determinants of underuse across medication types. CONCLUSIONS: Many chronically ill adults frequently cut back on medications owing to cost. Patients are selective about the treatments they forgo. Out-of-pocket costs and inadequate prescription coverage may lead to adherence problems for many important medication types.





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