Navigation Links
Study finds higher drug co-pays discourage patients from starting treatment

Patients newly diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol are significantly more likely to delay initiating recommended drug treatment if they face higher co-payments for medications, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The delay was significant across all conditions, but the impact was largest among patients who had not previously used prescription drugs, according to the study published in the April 27 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

While several studies have established that higher drug co-payments discourage some patients from taking their medications, the new RAND Health study is the first to examine the impact higher out-of-pocket costs have on patients who are beginning drug treatment after being diagnosed with a chronic illnesses.

"Our study clearly shows that out-of-pocket costs reduce patients' willingness to start treatment for their chronic illnesses," said lead author Dr. Matthew D. Solomon, the study's lead author and an adjunct researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "It is indisputable that avoiding treatment for these conditions will lead to higher rates of heart attack and stroke."

The study included 272,474 retirees who received health coverage from their former employers from 1997 to 2002 and were covered by 31 different health plans. Researchers focused on 17,183 people from this group who were newly diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, examining their records to see when they began to fill prescriptions for needed medications.

For each of the conditions, patients who had higher out-of-pocket costs were less likely to start prescription drug therapy compared to other patients in the study. For example, among those newly diagnosed with high blood pressure, those starting drug treatment within a year of diagnosis dropped from 55 percent to 40 percent when their co-payment doubled. After five years, the difference was 82 percent to 66 percent, according to the study.

Similar differences were seen among those diagnosed for the first time with diabetes and high cholesterol, according to researchers. Patients starting drug treatment within a year of diagnosis with high cholesterol dropped from 40 percent to 31 percent when patients' out-of-pocket costs doubled. After five years, the difference was 64 percent to 54 percent. Among patients with diabetes, those starting drug treatment within a year of diagnosis dropped from 46 percent to 40 percent when co-pays doubled. After five years, the difference was 69 percent to 63 percent

"Along with behavioral and lifestyle modification, prescription drug therapy is the cornerstone of management for these diseases," said Solomon, who also is a medical resident at Stanford University. "If left untreated, each of these conditions will increase a person's risk for having a potentially fatal cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke."

The study also showed that patients who had no experience with medications were even less likely to begin recommended drug treatment, an indication that some patients may have a preference against medication use.

Solomon said the new RAND study holds implications for policymakers and insurance officials interested in creating policies to improve medication compliance and raise the quality of care. In addition, it should highlight for physicians the types of patients who may be most likely to ignore recommended drug treatments.

"Epidemiologic studies tell us that we do a terrible job of treating patients with these conditions. Now we know one reason why," Solomon said.


Contact: Warren Robak
RAND Corporation

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... center software Q-Suite, announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) ... supported Asterisk 11 LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also ... buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to ... Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and ... destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... NE (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs ... searched by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group ... during the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... second medical opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The ... and took place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... november 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge ... investering aan van ten minste $15,8 miljoen ... het mondiale hoofdkantoor in Wilmington, ... in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit voor ... behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische markten. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> Juntendo University ... contrast weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple Sclerosis ... agreement with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in clinical ... to generate multiple contrast images from a single scan and ... making it possible to both fine tune images and recreate ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new ... Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: