Study Finds Patients With Chronic Conditions Have Problems Accessing Drugs
Patients with chronic conditions are having more trouble affording their prescription drugs than patients without such conditions, according to a new study.
Prescription drug access problems have risen markedly for adults with chronic conditions -- such as diabetes, asthma and depression -- increasing from 16.5 percent in 2001 to 18.3 percent in 2003, says a report released by the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research organization. By contrast, Rx access problems for adults without chronic conditions remained unchanged at roughly 9.2 percent during the same period, said the report based on a national survey that asked people about their ability to afford drugs.
The study concluded that the proportion of adults reporting access problems rose to 12.8 percent in 2003 from 12 percent in 2001. The proportion of privately insured adults with chronic conditions who reported not filling at least one prescription because of costs rose to 15.2 percent has 2003 from 12.7 percent in 2001.
PhRMA has acknowledged there is an access problem and has recently implemented a new program to help consumers. In April, the trade group announced it would spend roughly $30 million to develop and promote a program to help low-income Americans gain access to the medicines they need through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance.
To view a copy of the report, "An Update on Americans' Access to Prescription Drugs," go to the Center for Studying Health System Change online at http://hschange.org/CONTENT/738/ (http://hschange.org/CONTENT/738/).