The soaring price of insulin and other diabetes-related medications has led many with the disease to adopt strategies for coping with the cost burden of controlling the disease.
The soaring price of insulin and other diabetes-related medications has led many with the disease to adopt strategies for coping with the cost burden of controlling the disease.A recent National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Data Brief finds that in 2018, 13% of adults with diabetes who’d been prescribed medications during the previous 12 months did not take them as prescribed, while 24% asked their doctor for less-costly medications. This is defined as skipping medication doses, taking less medicine than prescribed, or delaying refillsRead on for more details from the Data Brief.
Patients under 65 are more likely to adopt cost-related coping strategies
• Among patients under age 65, 18% did not take their medication as prescribed, compared with 7% of those 65 and older
• Similarly, 26% of those under 65 requested lower-cost medications, while 22% of those over 65 did
Women are more likely than men to use cost-related coping strategies
• 15% of women, versus 12% of men, didn’t take medication as prescribed in order to reduce their prescription drug costs
• 26% of women and 23% of men asked for their doctors for lower-cost diabetes medications
For patients under 65, lack of insurance coverage is a major factor in the need for strategies to deal with high medication costs
• 36% of patients in this age cohort who lacked insurance didn’t take their medication as prescribed compared with 18% of those with Medicaid coverage and 14% with commercial insurance
• 43% of uninsured patients requested a lower-cost medication, but only 26% of commercially-insured patients and 19% covered by Medicaid did so
The type of insurance coverage among patients 65 and older had little impact on rates of medication adherence, but did significantly affect requests for lower-cost medications
• Non-adherence rates were identical (6.2%) among those with commercial insurance or dual Medicare-Medicaid coverage and nearly identical for those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or regular Medicare (9.3% and 9.2%, respectively)
• In contrast, patients with commercial insurance were twice as likely as those with dual Medicare-Medicaid coverage (26% and 13%, respectively) to request lower-cost medications. For Medicare Advantage and regular Medicare enrollees, the rates were 26% and 23%, respectively