Survey: 44% of Americans Worry That Medication Prices Could Lead to Increased Debt

One-third of participants who have used prescriptions think that mail-order pharmacies would help reduce drug costs, according to HealthCare.com.

Approximately 44% of Americans who take prescription drugs are concerned that the spending for medications in their households could lead to bankruptcy or debt, according to the results of a survey by HealthCare.com.

Investigators conducted the survey on July 27, 2022, using SurveyMonkey Audience to poll a national sample of 1002 individuals in the United States, aged 18 or older, who had taken prescription drugs. Investigators assessed the individuals’ experiences with cost, coverage, and view on mail-order pharmacies.

The sample was balanced for age, gender, and region of the United States, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Among those who are part of Medicare Part D, the number of individuals who are concerned about drug prices rises to 49%.

Investigators also found that 65% of individuals take prescriptions every day, 13% take them less than once a month, 9% take them a few times a week, 4% take them a few times a month, and 4% take them about once a week.

Nearly 3 in 10 individuals who take prescription drugs said they had difficulty paying for food or housing in the past year, because of high-cost prescription medications, which rose to 34% among those who have Medicare Part D.

Approximately 33% of individuals said their spending has increased in the past year, rising to 36% for those who have Medicare Part D. Just 7% of individuals said their spending declined.

The top 3 ways individuals save on their prescription medications were generic alternatives at 50%, discount programs at 30%, and a 90-day supply at 30%.

One-third of Americans who have used prescription medications think that mail-order pharmacies would help reduce drug prices.

Fully 70% of individuals who responded to the survey fill their prescriptions at traditional pharmacies, while 13% fill their prescriptions at mail-order pharmacies.

Investigators found that among those who do not use mail order, 56% said it is because they like their current pharmacy, 20% said they do not trust mail order, and 15% said they did not know they existed.

Approximately 64% of individuals said they trust retail pharmacies the most, followed by pharmacies in their doctor’s offices at 22%, mail-order pharmacies at 9%, and wholesale pharmacies at 5%.

Additionally, 61% of those who use mail-order pharmacies rate them better than traditional pharmacies.

Half those who use mail-order pharmacies said the convenience and ease led them to give those pharmacies a try. Also, 28% of those using mail-order pharmacies said the COVID-19 pandemic led them to start using mail-order pharmacies. Approximately 61% of individuals said mail-order pharmacies help them adhere to their medications.

In the past year, 45% of individuals using mail-order pharmacies spent between $100 to $500 on medications, while 32% spent less than $100, and 16% spent between $500 to $1000.

The most common issues with mail-order pharmacies that individuals reported were late medications at 27%, poor customer service at 17%, technical issues with the website at 12%, the medication never arriving at 10%, the wrong medication arriving at 8%, and a defective product or packaging opened at 5% each.

However, 46% had not experienced any of the 7 listed issues.

Individuals said the most convenient aspects of mail-order pharmacies were the ability to get 90-day supplies (64%), consolidating prescriptions into 1 order (41%), and not having to walk to a pharmacy (38%).

Reference

Grunebaum, D. 4 in 10 fear prescription drug spiral into bankruptcy, debt: survey. Healthcare.com. Updated August 16, 2022. Accessed August 30, 2022. Email.