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AARP Survey Highlights Prescription Drug Use Among Older Adults

This week, AARP released the results of a survey that examined consumers’ prescription drug use and opinions regarding cost. The survey captured common struggles consumers face with the cost of prescription drugs and consumer views on legal strategies to reduce prescription drug costs.

The online survey reached over 1,800 adults over the age of 50. Among survey respondents, 75 percent of take a prescription medication on a regular basis, with an even higher percentage for those ages 65 and older. Of these, over 80 percent take at least two prescription drugs and over 50 percent take four or more. African American and low-income individuals tend to take more medications.

Nearly 30 percent reported that out-of-pocket prescription drug costs are increasing, and 33 percent had a monthly expenditure of $50 or more. Over four in ten adults age 50 and older are concerned about being able to afford their medication. About one-quarter (23 percent) of those surveyed did not fill a prescription they were given within the last two years, and over 55 percent of those reported that cost contributed to the decision not to obtain the medication.

Most adults age 50 and older reported that prescription drugs are too expensive and most say it is important for policymakers  to support efforts to make prescription drugs more affordable. For instance, three-quarters of survey respondents thought that there should be more government regulation limiting the cost of prescription drugs.

View the survey here.

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