Prescription drug prices have been the subject of heated discussion in the U.S. for several years, for good reason. According to ZS’s Patient Affordability Survey, 25% of the 500 respondents who experienced an affordability issue reported never taking the medication they were prescribed. Forty-three percent of respondents indicated a negative impact to their health, while 99% of respondents described their level of “stress, frustration or inconvenience” as moderate or high. In characterizing these impacts, one patient stated that “It has an impact not only on my diabetes, but on my depression and general stamina in dealing with life.”
Yet there’s a persistent disconnect among the public and policymakers about prescription affordability issues and the reasons for them. Efforts to address the very real struggles that too many patients face must begin with a clearer understanding of the affordability landscape. To that end, the ZS Research Center has examined prescription drug affordability in the U.S. For the first time, our research provides real context to the different situations in which patients struggle to access or afford their prescription drugs.