Plus: How to lower your drug costs
Americans take a lot of medicines – and many resort to risky behaviors to afford them. That’s according to a recent national telephone poll by public-education project Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. Forty-four percent of Americans take an average of 4.5 prescription drugs; 16 percent say they take 7 or more.
To afford those medications, more than half (57 percent) of those polled reported taking steps in the last year—some of them potentially dangerous—to curb high drug costs. That included not filling a prescription (17 percent), skipping a scheduled dose (14 percent), and taking an expired medication (14 percent).
The cost of medications affect people’s wallets in other ways, too. Three in 10 (29 percent) reported cutting back on entertainment and dining out; 19 percent spent less on groceries, and 15 percent put off paying other bills in order to afford their prescription drugs. And, people without drug coverage from their insurance were hit the hardest.
What to do if you face high costs
Don’t wait for your doctor to bring up the cost of medications—he or she may not. Instead, ask