Keeping prescription bottles full or wallets full, doctors warn against skipping doses

NOW: Keeping prescription bottles full or wallets full, doctors warn against skipping doses

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Millions of Americans are faced the hard decision to either keep their prescription bottles full or their wallets full. 

New data from the CDC says more than eight percent of them are choosing their wallets. 

About 9.2 million people in the U.S. are trying to cut down costs by skipping doses of their prescribed medicines or delaying their prescription refills. 

“Now they’re telling me my prescriptions to fill them are almost $400 a month,” says a local patient, Tony Calabrese. 

Calabrese is one of millions of Americans who gets sticker shock at the pharmacy counter, but he’s not one that can afford to miss a single dose of his medication. 

“I’m a heart patient myself,” Calabrese explains. “I definitely don’t want to miss my medications.” 

It’s a trend that the CDC recognizes is on the rise; more and more Americans are skipping doses to cut costs, but depending on their condition, it can cost them more in hospital bills. 

“While patients may do that to try to save money for themselves, the overall cost is markedly higher if they present to the emergency room or need to be admitted to the hospital,” explains Dr. Mark Fox with the Saint Joseph County Health Department. 

Nationwide inflation is part of the blame, which has only increased the price of prescription drugs since the CDC conducted its study two years ago. 

“Prescription drug prices have increased greater than the rate of inflation in the period since 2021, and everyone’s been impacted by inflation,” Dr. Fox says. 

The solution, doctors say, is to be open with them about what you can afford and take advantage of available prescription assistance programs. 

“Doctors need to do a better job of creating a safe space where patients can be open about those struggles,” says Dr. Fox. “It’s important for patients to share that information with doctors.” 

“I actually can go through, I believe it’s GoodRX,” shares Calabrese. “I bypass insurance altogether and get a better price.” 

Good RX is a helpful tool that lets you search your medication then find the best deals at pharmacies near you. 

Prescription Prices, Coupons & Pharmacy Information - GoodRx 

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