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Study: Drug costs lead many people to forgo prescriptions

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“Americans cannot afford to wait a day longer for drug price relief,” Jodi Dart, executive director of Prescription Justice. “Tens of millions of Americans are not taking medications because of high drug prices. We urge President Trump to keep his campaign promise to stand up to big pharma and bring relief to millions of Americans who are unduly suffering because they can’t afford the vital medications that will help them get better.”

Besides in the United States and the United Kingdom, the percentage of adults not filling prescriptions because of cost in 2016 was 10% in Canada, 9% in Switzerland, 6% in Australia, 6% in New Zealand, 6% in Sweden, 4% in France, 4% in the Netherlands and 3% in Norway, according to Prescription Justice’s study.

In the U.S., this percentage has actually come down. Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect in late 2013 — providing prescription drug benefits for millions who previously lacked coverage — 21% of American adults reported not filling prescriptions because of cost, Prescription Justice noted.

An earlier estimate pegged the number of U.S. adults forgoing a prescription because of cost at 35 million, but that was based on a 2014 Commonwealth Fund survey, which polled adults ages 18 to 64, not including elder Americans age 65 and older, as in the new survey, Prescription Justice added.


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