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Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
/ Categories: APhA News

New report shows 82% of patients still experience medication delays

A new report estimates that 82% of patients experienced medication delays in the last year because of COVID-19 restrictions, prescriptions cost, communication challenges, insurance processes, and/or lack of transportation.

Of patients who experienced delays, 85% had to make monetary compromises to afford their prescriptions such as forgoing other bills or medications or modifying treatment to stretch out a prescription. Many patients postponed medical visits in the past year, according to the CoverMyMeds’ 2022 Medication Access Report.

The industry report found that 84% of patients delayed or skipped in-person health care visits, mostly because of concerns related to COVID-19 or a lack of appointments. This contributed to an estimated 500 million fewer diagnostic visits and more than 15 million fewer new prescriptions.

The report also found that 79% of patients said they went to the pharmacy but found that the prescription cost was more than anticipated, up from 67% the year before. Among patients facing affordability issues, 56% sought to stretch out a prescription, 52% skipped paying bills or for other essential items to afford medications, and 51% stopped taking their medications to pay bills and other essentials.

Meanwhile, 54% of pharmacists said they lacked time to complete their job effectively, with 81% citing inadequate staffing and 73% citing time-consuming administrative tasks. To improve affordability conversations with patients and provide them with specialty therapies sooner, 64% of providers said they need access to patient-specific benefit information, but only 25% of providers and 36% of pharmacists said they have in-workflow access to plan-specific pricing.

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