Americans Pay The Most For Prescription Drugs

Armen Hareyan's picture
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An international study of dialysis patients shows that although U.S. residents have the highest out-of-pocket drug costs, even those who can afford their prescription drugs are far less likely to take them than patients in other countries.

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The new research from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Arbor Research Collaborative for Health found that high out-of-pocket drug costs are only a partial reason why fewer American dialysis patients took their medications than in other countries, said Richard Hirth, professor at the U-M School of Public Health.

"There is something about Americans that make them more noncompliant with their drugs even when you leave out the higher cost of the drugs," said Hirth, who co-authored the paper with Scott Greer, assistant professor at the School of Public Health. "The study looked at drug costs and adherence in hemodialysis patients from 12 developed countries participating in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study.

Dialysis patients in the United Kingdom enjoyed the lowest out-of-pocket spending, at $8 per month, compared to $114 per month in the United States. The percentage of people who did not adhere to their drug regimens because of cost ranged from 3 percent in Japan to 29 percent in the United States

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