Prescription noncompliance due to cost among adults with disabilities in the United States

Am J Public Health. 2002 Jul;92(7):1120-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.7.1120.


Objectives: This study estimated national prevalence rates of medication noncompliance due to cost and resulting health problems among adults with disabilities.

Methods: Analyses involved 25,805 respondents to the Disability Follow-Back Survey, a supplement to the 1994 and 1995 National Health Interview Surveys.

Results: Findings showed that about 1.3 million adults with disabilities did not take their medications as prescribed because of cost, and more than half reported health problems as a result. Severe disability, poor health, low income, lack of insurance, and a high number of prescriptions increased the odds of being noncompliant as a result of cost.

Conclusions: Prescription noncompliance due to cost is a serious problem for many adults with chronic disease or disability. Most would not be helped by any of the current proposals to expand Medicare drug coverage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Costs
  • Drug Prescriptions / economics*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Self Administration / economics*
  • Self Administration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Refusal / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States