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Stroke medicines still unaffordable for some survivors, according to University of Michigan research
Date:2/11/2011

pear to be surviving stroke, but those enrolled in Medicare Part D more often report they can't always afford their medication:

  • In 2009, 11 percent or about 150,000 stroke survivors reported cost-related non-adherence to their medications.

  • Forty-two percent of Medicare beneficiaries with stroke reported having Medicare Part D. However, cost-related non-adherence to medication was twice as high among Medicare Part D participants compared to those without the prescription drug benefit, 12 percent versus 6 percent. Many Medicare Part D participants were low-income and in poor health.

  • Cost-related non-adherence to medication increased significantly among younger stroke survivors, particularly those ages 45 to 54, but was unchanged among older stroke survivors. Possible reasons include greater competing household costs or less prescription drug coverage among younger stroke survivors, which the researchers could not assess in their study.

  • Cost-related non-adherence among uninsured stroke survivors increased sharply, from 39 percent in 1998-2002 to 60 percent in 2006-09.

Physicians may be able to help reduce the risk of recurrent stroke and other cardiovascular disease-related events among their patients by simply asking them about their abilities to afford their care, Levine said.

"Healthcare professionals need to screen for cost-related barriers to medication in stroke survivors, particularly those who are younger, uninsured or enrolled in Medicare Part D, and to improve access to affordable medications for post-stroke patients who need it," she said.

"Interventions that provide affordable health insurance and that reduce or eliminate costs for medications to prevent recurrent stroke are needed for vulnerable stroke survivors who cannot afford their medications. We hope to study whether full prescription drug coverage of secondary preventive therapies for stroke survivors wi
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Contact: Heather Guenther
hguenthe@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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