45 million U.S. adults didn’t fill a prescription in 2016 due to cost

Eighteen percent of Americans over the age of 18 did not fill a prescription due to cost last year. | File photo

High prescription drug costs mean approximately 45 million adults in the U.S., or 18 percent of Americans over the age of 18, did not fill a prescription last year, according to the nonprofit group Prescription Justice.

“Americans cannot afford to wait a day longer for drug price relief,” Prescription Justice Executive Director Jodi Dart said. “Tens of millions of Americans are not taking medications because of high drug prices. We urge President [Donald] Trump to keep his campaign promise to stand up to big pharma and bring relief to millions of Americans who are unduly suffering because they can’t afford the vital medications that will help them get better.”

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, 21 percent of Americans did not fill prescriptions due to cost, Prescription Justice said. The percentage of adults who aren’t filling prescriptions due to cost is 9 times higher in the U.S. than in the United Kingdom, which is at 2 percent. That is likely due to national health insurance in that country, according to Prescription Justice. 

In 2016, the percentage of adults who did not fill prescriptions due to cost was 10 percent in Canada; 9 percent in Switzerland; 6 percent in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden; 4 percent in France and the Netherlands; and 3 percent in Norway, a study by Prescription Justice found.

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Organizations in this story

American Pharmacy News Washington, DC

Prescription Justice Litchfield, CT 06759, United States Litchfield, CT 06759