1 in 5 patients asked physician for a lower-cost medication in last year, study finds

In an effort to reduce prescription drug costs in the last year, nearly one in every five patients asked their physician for a lower-cost medication, according to a new report from the CDC.

For its report, the CDC analyzed National Health Interview Survey results from 2013-17. The report looked at three ways adults who were prescribed medicine tried to cut costs in 2017, including asking for a cheaper drug, not taking medicine as prescribed or seeking alternative therapies.

Six key study findings:

1. In 2017, 19.5 percent of patients had asked their physician for a lower-cost medication in the last 12 months to reduce prescription costs.

2. Uninsured adults were more than twice as likely than those with insurance to ask their physician for a cheaper medication.

3. Among adults surveyed, 11.4 percent did not take their medication as prescribed to ration the drug to reduce costs.

4. Nearly a third of uninsured patients didn't take their medication as prescribed in the last year.

5. Using an alternative therapy was the least common strategy to lower drug costs, with 5.4 percent of respondents choosing this method. About 13.9 percent of uninsured patients used alternative therapies.

6. Women were more likely than men to use each of these strategies.

Find the full report here.


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