Commentary , Dataset

A State-level Measure of Drug Affordability on State Health Compare: Made Changes to Medical Drugs Because of Cost

Many Americans are making changes to their medical drugs in response to rising drug prices. In 2016, 28.0% of non-elderly adults (ages 19-64) said that due to cost they asked their doctor for cheaper medications, delayed refills, took less medication than prescribed, skipped doses, used alternative therapies, and/or bought medications out of the country.

The percentage of the U.S. population that made changes to drugs due to cost has been relatively stable over time at the national level, but there are substantial differences by state and significant disparities exist between age groups and types of insurance coverage. The measure “Made Changes to Medical Drugs” is produced using the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), for which State Health Compare is the only source of state-level estimates, providing a unique way to see how the cost of prescriptions and other medical drugs affects Americans’ ability to afford these medications across and within states.

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