Big Pharma's profiteering has reached the breaking point: 45 percent of Americans can no longer afford prescriptions

Saturday, September 29, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Big Pharma, profiteering, prescriptions

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(NaturalNews) Drug companies have gotten so greedy, and the American public so financially distressed, that nearly half of all Americans under the age of 65 who normally take prescription drugs are no longer doing so because they allegedly cannot afford it. This is according to a new report compiled by the Consumer Reports National Research Center (CRNRC), which also found that 63 percent of those in need of medical care are skipping trips to the doctor because of the high costs involved.

Based on a poll that included 1,158 adults over the age of 18, CRNRC found that 62 percent of Americans under the age of 65 avoided getting recommended medical tests in 2012 because of high costs, while just over half avoided getting a recommended medical procedure. In total, more than 80 percent of those polled indicated that they skipped either a medically-related procedure, medical test, doctor visit, or prescription because of the expense.

"When it comes to prescription drugs, consumers are spending on average $63 out of pocket every month, which can easily swallow up a big portion of the family budget," said Lisa Gill, prescription drugs editor for Consumer Reports, in a recent press release about the findings. "It's even worse for those without insurance for medicines, who pay upwards of $91 a month for their prescriptions."

The number of adult patients under the age of 65 who skipped a doctor visit because they could not afford it jumped 16 percent last year, while the number who avoided a prescription jumped 19 percent. These same individuals cut various other things out of their lives as well, according to the report, including leisure activities, dining out, and entertainment.

According to the data, 28 percent of adults under the age of 65 with prescription drug benefits said they have cut back on entertainment and dining out because of financial difficulties. And 58 percent of those without benefits, or more than twice the number of those with benefits, indicated a reduction in these activities. Similar cut-backs were also observed among both groups for increased credit card use and a reduction in the amount of groceries purchased.

A similar survey conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation back in June found that roughly 60 percent of Americans avoided the doctor, eliminated or modified the doses of their prescriptions, avoided diagnostic tests, or otherwise altered their normal healthcare regimen to save money. The average cost of health care for a family of four with an employer-sponsored insurance plan also topped $20,000 for the first time ever this year.

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