One in Five Seniors Report Cost-Related Medication Nonadherence

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Most respondents indicated a desire for use of a real-time benefit tool, with concern reported regarding inaccurate prices

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) — About one in five older adults reported cost-related medication nonadherence in 2022, according to a study published online May 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Stacie B. Dusetzina, Ph.D., from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues examined older adults’ cost-related medication nonadherence in a nationally representative survey of adults aged 65 years and older. Data were included from 2,005 respondents.

The researchers found that 20.2 percent of respondents reported cost-related medication nonadherence. Extreme forms of cost coping were reported by some respondents, including foregoing basic needs or going into debt to afford medications (8.5 and 4.8 percent, respectively). Overall, 89.0 percent of the respondents reported being comfortable or neutral about being screened for wanting to have medication cost conversations before a physician’s visit and 89.5 percent indicated a desire for use of a real-time benefit tool. Respondents reported concern regarding inaccurate prices, with 49.9 and 39.3 percent of those with and without cost-related nonadherence, respectively, reporting that they would be extremely upset if their actual medication price was more than estimated using the real-time benefit tool. Nearly 80 percent of those with cost-related nonadherence reported that if the actual price was much more than the estimated price, it would affect their decision to start or keep taking a medication.

“Real-time benefit tools may increase cost-conscious prescribing and better prepare patients for the prices they will face at the pharmacy counter, but they do not reduce drug prices directly,” the authors write. “Broader efforts and policy reforms are needed to lower the prices of medications and to improve insurance coverage.”

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