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Millions Skip Medications Due To High Cost Of Prescription Drugs

The survey, by NCHS researchers Robin A. Cohen and Maria A. Villarroel, found that about 8% of adult Americans don’t take their medicines as prescribed because they can’t afford them. Among younger adults (those under age 65), 6% who had private insurance skipped medicines to save money, compared to 10% for those with Medicaid and 14% of those with no insurance. Among the poorest adults — nearly 14% did not take medications as prescribed to save money.

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Medications are important. They help to do a whole lot of different things like warding off depression, managing symptoms of different diseases, fighting infections and even preventing stroke. The only thing is medications won't work if they are not taken and unfortunately non adherence to medication is fairly common amongst people with chronic diseases.

There are many reasons why people might not be taking their medications or why they're intentionally skipping it. Reasons like fear of potential side effects, mistrust, lack of symptoms, depression, worry, too many medications, forgetfulness and even cost of the drugs.

The National Center for Health Statistics has shown through a new report that so many patients don't use their medications because of the cost. Affordability is one major reason why adult Americans claim they don't take their drugs as they're prescribed. In the report, many different categories of people either were trying to save money from insurance or were outrightly not able to afford the medications.

Due to this reason, they either did not just take the medications or skipped some or even looked for other ways to cut costs. In a bid to do this, they attempt using alternative therapies, ask for less expensive medicines or buy the medications from other countries.

Escalating medication cost

No doubt, adults all over the world and even in America face a wide range of health conditions. With these illnesses or diseases like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, it isn't very unusual to see patients taking more than three or four medications each day.

There are even those who would have as many as eight or more different drugs listed on their medical records per time. For this set of people even with the assumption that they can afford these prescription drugs, taking and managing all of them is often challenging.

Missing or skipping prescription drugs can often be a serious problem and can often lead to other medical complications. But in the long term, it could lead to increased medical costs or maybe even hospitalizations.

This high cost of medications is the reason why lots of Americans often decide not to take a prescription as directed or to even fill a prescription in order to save money. Even health insurance can't help the case sometimes. The rate at which new drugs are approved is way more than that which generic drugs are introduced, so medications still remain quite expensive.

Cutting medication costs the safe way

We know there are negative consequences for not taking medications as they should be taken that's why we're giving you tips on how to safely cut costs without harming yourself health wise. You should ensure by asking your doctor

•Which prescription drugs are most essential?

If you have issues with affording your medications, make sure you ask your primary care physician which of the medications are really necessary. You should be able to understand how each of the drugs will either help to improve your health or keep you out of the hospital.

•Which of the prescription drugs can you stop with minimal risk to your health?

Although it might not be so easy for your doctor to answer this, it is important to also do your own due diligence of research. It will also help you make a shared decision with your primary care physician.

•If there are any lifestyle changes that you can make that will allow you drop any of the prescription drugs

Taking high blood pressure for example, exercising more is one lifestyle change that can be made to allow the patient drop some of the doses of drugs taken.

Other cost saving tips include

•Discuss with your doctor to prescribe "preferred" drugs if you have a prescription drug plan as they'll be cheaper

•Ensure you ask for the generic version of the medication as they're usually cheaper

•If there are no generic versions yet, ask the pharmacy if there's a less expensive brand name drug that would perform the same function

•Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist the possibility of pill splitting

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