Out-of-pocket Rx costs continue to rise

March 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

Fifty-two percent of American adults surveyed said their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs were higher in 2002.

Fifty-two percent of American adults surveyed said their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs were higher in 2002, according to a poll by the Wall Street Journal Online and Rochester, NY-based Harris Interactive. The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive among a nationwide cross section of 2,438 adults.

The poll found that among those 65 years and older, 58% experienced higher costs. Costs were 37% higher, on average, for Americans who experienced an increase this year. For those aged 65 and older, that increase was 25%.

Who's to blame for healthcare costs?

The survey also found that consumers blame increases in overall medical costs on the following factors: higher prescription drug costs (74% of U.S. adults and 89% of those aged 65 and older, respectively), higher hospital fees (61% and 76%), and medical malpractice and insurance costs (61% and 71%).

According to Harris Interactive, the public's perception that prescription price increases are a major cost driver reflects the fact that drug co-pays have been rising rapidly while consumers are shielded from other expenses via insurance and benefit plans. PR

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