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Seniors and Prescription Drugs: An 8-State Survey


A new study conducted by researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund, reports results from a 2001 survey of 10,927 noninstitutionalized seniors in eight geographically diverse states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. State-level data on drug coverage, medication use, out-of-pocket costs, and cost-related medication skipping among community-dwelling seniors are highlighted to examine how coverage and experiences differ by state and how well states have been able to close the drug coverage gap for seniors. The study finds nearly one quarter of seniors (22%) reported skipping medications or not filling prescriptions due to costs and a similar share (23%) reported spending at least $100 per month on their medications in 2001. The survey also finds that access and scope of drug coverage depend substantially on where seniors live. Even in states with the highest rates of prescription drug coverage, roughly one in five seniors lacked drug coverage.

The chart pack draws from a Health Affairs article released electronically on July 31, 2002, entitled, Prescription Drug Coverage and Seniors: How Well Are States Closing the Gap? Findings from a 2001 Survey of Seniors in Eight States. The full text of the article is available below.