Patients curb prescription spending
Wall Street Journal (subscription required), July 16, 2008
The number of prescriptions dispensed by U.S. pharmacies is growing at its worst rate in at least a decade as consumers are squeezed by both a troubled economy and the growing burden of out-of-pocket healthcare costs. The development comes as employers and insurers have shifted a larger share of healthcare costs to consumers in a bid to tame growth of the $2 trillion healthcare system. Consumers appear to be skimping on medicines as a result: A recent poll from the Kaiser foundation showed 23% of patients didn't fill a prescription in the last year because of cost, up from 20% in 2005; 19% split pills or skipped doses, up from 16% in 2005.