Strategies used by adults aged 65 and over to reduce their prescription drug costs, 2016-2017
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Strategies used by adults aged 65 and over to reduce their prescription drug costs, 2016-2017
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    Key findings Data from the National Health Interview Survey • Among adults aged 65 and over who were prescribed medication in the past 12 months, 4.8% did not take their medication as prescribed to reduce their prescription drug costs, and 17.7% asked their doctor for a lower-cost medication. • Women (5.6%) were more likely than men (3.7%) to not take their medication as prescribed. • Adults aged 65–74 were more likely than those aged 75 and over to not take their medication as prescribed and to ask their doctor for a lower-cost medication. • Adults with Medicare only were more likely than adults with private coverage, Medicare and Medicaid, or Medicare Advantage to not take their medication as prescribed. • Adults who were near poor were more likely than those who were poor or not poor to ask for a lower-cost medication. In 2017, 86% of U.S. adults aged 65 and over reported being prescribed medication in the past 12 months (1). Most adults aged 65 and over have prescription drug coverage through either Medicare Part D or some source such as private health insurance, Medicaid, or Veterans Administration coverage (2). However, previous data indicate that some may still use strategies to reduce prescription drug costs, including not taking their medication as prescribed or asking their doctor for a lower-cost medication (3). This report examines the percentage of adults aged 65 and over who used these strategies to reduce their prescription drug costs in the past 12 months by selected characteristics. Suggested citation: Cohen RA, Boersma P. Strategies used by adults aged 65 and over to reduce their prescription drug costs, 2016–2017. NCHS Data Brief, no 335. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2019. CS305658
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