Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

People Cannot Afford Prescription Medications

Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics analyzed responses to the 2021 National Health Interview Survey of US households. The report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that millions of adults in the United States were not taking medications prescribed to them due to cost.

About 60% of adults aged 18 to 64 years reported taking one prescription medication in 2021. Among those that took prescription medications, 8.2%(about 9.2 million people) did not take medications as prescribed due to cost. Women were more likely than men to not take medication.

The United States is one of the richest countries but the cost of medications, healthcare insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies, all have made it difficult for patients to afford lifesaving medications. It harms the patient to skip medications, ration, delay a prescription refill, or take a lower dose than prescribed and they may eventually end up with other health consequences.

If you are not taking your prescription medication as prescribed, please speak to your healthcare provider, often times there are alternatives available which will cost less or resources available to offset some of the cost.