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Expensive prescription drugs force some to go without

Posted On Tue, September 14, 2010

Health insurance isn't something people should go without, but a large number of low-income adults over the age of 45 report having to skimp on medical services because of cost.

A survey released by AARP found that 23 percent of low-income adults over the age of 45 have altered their medication intake because of expenses. Only 15 percent of those making more than $25,000 annually reported skipping doses and cutting pills to prolong the life of their medications.

AARP Foundation president Jo Ann Jenkins says the survey results show the economic downfall is hurting people who are already under financial stress.

"While the recession has been devastating for many older Americans, this recent data indicates lower-income folks are being hit particularly hard," says Jenkins.

Skipping doses of medications can lead to conditions becoming worse over time. The Kaiser Family Foundation notes prescription drug costs, in particular, have increased at a pace faster than other segments of the healthcare industry. Prescriptions for brand-name drugs can also drive costs up as such medications are more costly than their generic counterparts.

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