Money Talks and Affects Prescription Adherence

OCTOBER 01, 2004

A US study discovered one reason why patients on cholesterol-lowering drugs fail to fill prescriptions or cease taking the medication? copays. The researchers found that half of the participants in their study did not stick to the prescribed regimen, and half of the first-time users stopped the medications within 4 years.

The patients whose insurance copay was >$20 a month for their medication supply were 3 times more apt to fall behind on the prescription and 4 times more apt to stop taking it altogether, compared with patients whose copay was <$10. Also, the low rate of adherence was almost equal for both individuals with just high cholesterol and those who required statins as result of a heart attack or coronary surgery.