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Report: Consumers cut Back on Drug Coverage

Friday, 21 Sep 2012 02:50 PM


Cash-strapped American consumers are increasingly cutting back on prescription drugs and doctor visits, according to an annual health poll conducted by Consumer Reports. They’re also putting off medical tests and procedures.

“Americans are in serious financial distress and now, more than ever, they need to be thinking about their health,” said Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “With everything we know about the relationship between stress and health, it is very worrisome to think that people aren’t getting the care they need.”
SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.
The telephone survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, involved 1,158 interviews with adults 18 years of age and older (with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points).
Among the findings:
• Sixty-two percent declined a medical test because of cost (an increase of 29 percentage points since 2011).
• Forty-five percent skipped filling a prescription because of cost (an increase of 19 percentage points since last year).
• Sixty-three percent put off a doctor’s visit to save money (an increase of 16 percentage points since last year).
• Fifty-one percent skipped a medical procedure due to cost (an increase of 12 percentage points since last year).
• In addition to foregoing medical care, consumers are reluctant to confide in the professionals who are in the best position to help cut costs. About 68 percent of those polled said they were uncomfortable discussing personal financial difficulties with their pharmacist while 47 percent said they didn’t want to take up such issues with their physicians.

The poll also found consumers cutting back on everything from entertainment to groceries so they could pay for much-needed prescription medications.
SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.
To save on drug costs, Consumer Reports recommends switching to cheaper generic drugs, splitting pills (with a doctor’s approval), and substituting over-the-counter medications, when appropriate.
More cost-cutting tips are available online at www.ConsumerReports.org.



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Friday, 21 Sep 2012 02:50 PM
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