40% of Seniors Do Not Take Medications as Prescribed. Poor Experiences

Four in 10 seniors told researchers that they haven't taken all the drugs their doctors prescribed for them in the past year - either because the costs were too high, because they didn't think the drugs were helping them, or because they didn't think they needed them. The survey reveals that many seniors deal with complex and costly drug regimens. Of the 89% of seniors who report taking prescription drugs in the past year, nearly half (46%) take five or more, more than half (54%) have more than one doctor who prescribes medicine, and about a third (35%) use more than one pharmacy. Among seniors with at least three chronic health conditions, nearly three of four (73%) take five or more medications regularly and more than half (52%) do not take all their drugs as prescribed. The survey of 17,685 seniors was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and Tufts-New England Medical Center.