Just over one year ago we launched this blog with a post called Drug Price S.O.S. – 120 Million Americans Struggle to Afford Medicine. That number came from a 2008 Harvard School of Public Health study showing that 4 in 10 Americans have trouble affording their prescription drugs. Sadly, the situation has gotten worse.
As reported on MSNBC.com and Reuters, new information released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics shows a dramatic increase in the number of American adults who are unable to afford healthcare. From 1997 to 2009 the precentage of Americans not taking their medications due to cost nearly doubled from – increasing from 4.8 to 8.4%. The earlier Harvard study mentioned above shows 40 percent of Americans struggling with costs; that could mean pill splitting, skipping doses, taking alternatives, or simply going without needed medication. The recent government statistics are clear about how many Americans don’t take their medication due to cost: 25 million! [8.4% of 300 million (the U.S. population) = 25 million].
As depressing as the figures are, they are not surprising for the following reason: drug prices have increased dramatically over the past decade – by 9 percent alone in 2009 during the height of the recession. Prescription drug utilization is price elastic, meaning the higher the price of a drug, the less likely it is that people will take it. And, as the MSNBC.com article notes, a related explanation for decreases in people taking their prescribed medication is that “between 1999 and 2009, the percentage of working-age adults with private health insurance fell.” People with health insurance can usually afford the co-payments for their prescription drugs. It’s when they lose their health insurance, and many millions have since the recession began, that they are unable to afford the out-pocket-prices charged at their local pharmacies for brand name drugs.
These recent government statistics are further proof that access to safe personal drug importation from affordable online pharmacies is not just about saving a buck. It is about getting and staying healthy; it is about saving lives.Tagged with: brand name drugs, Drug Prices, Harvard, health insurance, MSNBC, Online Pharmacies, personal drug importation, pill splitting, prescription abandonment, prescriptions, recession, Reuters, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States