Plenty of Americans bypassing medicines to cut back on spending

Friday, April 19, 2013 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: health care costs, prescription drugs, big pharma

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(NaturalNews) A new study has shown that Americans on a tight budget often bypass dosages of expensive prescription medication or use a lower amount than was prescribed by their physician.

As expected, the absence of insurance coverage is one of the major reasons behind patients who have to make do without the required medication, as stated by the new research that was announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The researchers discouraged the bypassing of medicines because this will have adverse effects on one's well-being.

The research

According to the researchers headed by Robin Cohen of the NCHS Division of Health Interview Statistics, adults who are not taking their prescription drugs as recommended by their doctors are much less healthy and require longer stays in the emergency room, hospital, and cardiovascular events.

Based on CDC reports, in 2012, Americans spend $45 billion on prescription medication. However, Americans are unceasingly looking for new means of bringing down the expenses. According to the new study, nearly 20 percent of Americans from the ages of 18 to 64 have questioned their doctor on whether they can get less costly medication in order to cut back on spending. Americans beyond the age range are also doing the same thing.

The study also pointed out that those between the ages of 18 to 64 are twice more susceptible to skip on required medications in order to cut back on spending, compared to those beyond the said age range.

Adults who are not covered by insurance are more susceptible to try to cut back on spending on their prescription medication. The CDC study pointed out that around 23 percent of uninsured adults from 18 to 64 years of age bypassed taking their medicine to minimize expenses, compared to around 14 percent of people with Medicaid and about 9 percent who have private insurance. Those tagged as "poor or near poor" by the agency are twice as likely to not take their prescription drugs compared to adults who weren't poor.

Americans who are 65 and older and covered only by Medicare are also more likely to try to find less costly options to their medications. The study showed that about one in every four people covered only by Medicare asked their physician to look for a less costly alternative, compared to around one in every five people covered by private insurance. Furthermore, 6 percent of adults from 18 to 64 years old chose less costly alternative treatments, compared to 2.3 percent of adults over 64 years old. Around one in every 50 American adults also bought their prescription medication outside the U.S. in order to try to cut back on spending.

The research is a compilation of data from the 2011 National Health Survey, with the full report released on April 9 on the NCHS website.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Sandeep is an mountain climber, runner, and fitness coach. He shares his tips for staying in shape and eating healthy on quickeasyfit.

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