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Prescription Health Care Costs and its Effects on the Elderly - Essay Example

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Ageing is generally associated with many health related problems and hence elderly people spend a major amount of money towards medical care expenses. According to studies nearly 90% of the elderly aged above 65 years and on an average take at least 5 prescription drugs…
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Prescription Health Care Costs and its Effects on the Elderly
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Prescription Health Care Costs and its Effects on the Elderly

ribed in case of the elderly and the price are these drugs are more compared to the older drugs thus adding additional burden on the elderly (Berndt et al, 1998). However, those who rely on a fixed income are vulnerable towards price inflation of prescription drugs due to which they either skip doses or at times even forgo the prescriptions which can have an adverse affect o their health (Berndt et al, 1998; Safran et al, 2005). According to a national survey report on prescription drug adherence by the elderly more than one-quarter of elderly did not adhere to the prescription due to the associated high costs. The non adherence was more prominent among those without drug coverage, low-income groups and those with complex chronic illnesses (Safran et al, 2005). The introduction of public health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and private-employer insurance programs has not seen a significant reduction in prescription drug adherence by the elderly. These programs cover only partial medical services for the elderly and do not cover the costs of outpatient prescription drugs (Safran et al, 2005; U. S. Healthcare, 2010; The cost of Prescription Drugs, 2001; Shang & Goldman, 2007). This coupled with the rising inflation and global economic recession in the recent years has only laid excess strain on healthcare expenditure due to which the costs have outweighed the benefits (U. S. Healthcare, 2010).
The increase in the costs of prescription drugs has been mainly associated with the emergence of expensive state-of-the-art technology in drug production and for the development of such high-end drugs the costs will have to be shared with the consumer. Factors such as larger prevalence of chronic and long-term illness coupled with longer life spans have increased the demand for such drugs. Additionally population ageing and administrative costs also add up to the health care costs (U. S. Healthcare, 2010). Public health insurance programs such as Medicare ... Read More
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