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50 Million Americans Forgo Meds

May 10, 2013 – Fifty Million Americans, aged 19 – 64, forgo meds in 2012 due to cost; 37% of seniors concerned about drug prices. has been monitoring prescription drug prices since 2003, with the goal of helping the American consumer save money on necessary medications and with an eye toward public policy issues that affect drug prices. It is an essential resource, in part becuase the number of Americans not taking their medications as directed has become a public health crisis.

The article cites data from the Commonwealth Fund’s 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, noting that “Drug prices deterred 50 million Americans from filling a prescription, a 28% increase since 2003 and 4% increase since 2010.” The survey asked a representative sample of over 4000 people if, “In the last 12 months, was there any time when you did not fill a prescription for medicine because of the cost.”

Gabriel Levitt, Vice President of, points out that this is a staggering figure, given that it does not include seniors or children. He cites a Walgreen’s survey, which found that, “37% of Medicare enrollees are concered about their drug costs and 20% delay filling prescriptions or skip doses to manage costs.” According to Pharmacy Checker, that’s another 8 million Americans taking dangerous risks with their health.

The survey also reveals that the uninsured are particularly hard hit. “Sixty percent of uninsured Americans with a chronic condition skipped taking medication in 2012 due to cost, compared to 14% of insured Americans. Ouverall, the figure was 28%; that’s 18 million out of sixty-six million adults with hyperternsion or high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, emphysema, lung disease or heart disease.


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