40 Percent of Seniors Not Taking Prescribed Medicines
News Category: Industry News
07/27/2009 0 Comments Contact Our News Editors
Washington, DC – A new survey, released today by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), found that senior citizens are being forced to make drastic cuts to their medical and food budgets due to the recession.
The survey, conducted over a three-month period earlier this year, had more than 1,040 respondents aged 65 and over. Findings include:
• 42 percent of seniors had either postponed filling their prescription medications or were taking a smaller dosage than prescribed by their physicians
• 62 percent had cut back on doctor visits or outpatient services
• 77 percent had reduced their spending on food items
“Millions of seniors have been struggling to make ends meet for many years,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League. “But this survey makes clear that the recession has made things go from bad to worse for older Americans.”
In addition, 32 percent of respondents reported that their drug plan increased its co-pay or co-insurance in 2009; 18 percent said they would have to postpone their retirement; and six percent reported having to take Social Security earlier than expected due to job cuts.
Since 2000, seniors have lost 20 percent of their buying power, according to a TSCL study released in May. That trend will likely continue, as senior costs continue to exceed the COLA.
The 37 million Americans aged 65 and over who receive a Social Security check each month are unlikely to find any short-term relief, since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is forecasting no Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2010 or 2011.
See “Night in America,” our latest video about seniors at risk, at www.YouTube.com/SeniorCitizensLeague.
TSCL supports legislation that would bring down the costs of prescription drugs. “The Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act,” introduced by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), John McCain (R-AZ) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), could help cut the cost of some prescription drugs by as much as 70 percent.