Patients Age 18 to 64 Twice as Likely as Older Adults to Misuse Prescribed Drugs for Savings

April 19, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


Data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey revealed that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 are almost twice as likely as adults 65 or older to have failed to use medications as prescribed in an attempt to save money, according to a data brief issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 12.6% of those age 18 to 64 and 5.8% of those 65 or older attempted to save money by not taking medications as prescribed. Some of the strategies patients used to reduce drug costs included waiting to fill prescriptions, skipping doses, and taking less medication than prescribed. To reduce medication costs without compromising the clinical benefit, prescribers can consider cheaper drug alternatives.

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