According to study findings published in the journal Neurology, patients with some common neurological disorders are more likely to forgo their medication when out-of-pocket drug costs rise, as reported by This is Money.
"Even changes as small as $50 a month can make a difference," commented coauthor Brian Callaghan.
Researchers analyzed 15 years' worth of information in a private insurance claims database, focusing on 19,820 patients with Alzheimer's disease, 3130 with Parkinson's disease, and 57,495 with peripheral neuropathy.
For each condition, pairs of drugs were compared. While the effectiveness and side effects of each drug in the pair were similar, one came with a higher out-of-pocket cost. Investigators looked at how many days' worth of the drugs were supplied to each person in the first six months after it was prescribed to them.
They found that $50 increases in out-of-pocket costs for Alzheimer's disease drugs were associated with a 12% lower rate of prescriptions being filled.
Similarly, a $50 increase in costs for peripheral neuropathy drugs led to a 9% lower rate of prescriptions getting filled, although they didn't find a statistically meaningful difference in results for Parkinson's disease medications.
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