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2008 Sees Significant Rise in Prescription Abandonment and Uptake of Generics
Date:4/7/2009

New Data Show U.S. Rx Abandonment Rate Up 34 Percent Since 2006; Generics Led Brands By a Billion Prescriptions in 2008

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry, today released its annual analysis of the U.S. pharmaceutical market that shows an increased rate of prescription abandonment among consumers. A prescription is defined as abandoned when a patient submits a retail prescription to a pharmacy but never actually picks it up.

Looking at U.S. commercial plan claims for 2008, Wolters Kluwer Health found that prescription abandonment increased by 34 percent nationally compared to 2006 --- jumping from an average of 5.15 percent in 2006 to 6.8 percent in 2008. It also found that abandonment increased as the amount of the co-pay increased, especially for new prescriptions. For example, new prescriptions with co-pays of $100 or more carry an abandonment rate of just over 20 percent; while with co-pays of $10 or under, the abandonment is only 4 percent.

"Price sensitivity is clearly a factor as consumers decide to forego certain prescriptions altogether, including some for chronic conditions," said Mark Spiers, President & CEO, Wolters Kluwer Health, Pharma Solutions. "This disturbing trend may have serious health implications and seems poised to continue especially if the economy deteriorates further."

Two-Thirds of Prescriptions Filled to be Generic by End of Year

The Wolters Kluwer Health analysis, known as Pharma Insight, also shows that generic medications continue to make significant gains over brands by grabbing more than 60 percent of all U.S. prescriptions filled in 2008, and an even greater percentage of the subset of drugs that are t
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SOURCE Wolters Kluwer Health
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