Some 12.8% of all Americans had trouble affording prescription drugs in 2003, up from 12% in 2001, and the problem was worse for blacks and people with chronic conditions, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change. The study, which was conducted via telephone, found that nearly 40% of people with chronic conditions covered by Medicaid or other public health insurance said they were unable to fill at least one prescription because of cost, the center reported. Among privately-insured adults with chronic conditions, the percentage who could not afford at least one prescription was 15.2% overall, 22% for blacks and 13% for whites. Among Medicare beneficiaries, it was 17% for blacks and 9% for whites. About 36,500 adults over the age of 18 were surveyed, down from 46,000 in the CSHSC's 2001 survey. Read the center's issue brief.-- by Ralph Loos
Prescription-drug costs harder to bear in 2003: survey
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