Many Americans on medication making risky healthcare trade-offs

Oct 07, 2011

Many Americans are trying to cut corners on healthcare during tough times.

The new Consumer Reports' annual prescription drug poll shows that as the economy continues to struggle, many Americans are making risky choices that could endanger their health. Families without life insurance could be affected by these risky trade-offs in the long run.

According to the report, 48 percent of Americans who currently take prescription drugs said they would cut healthcare costs by putting off a doctor visit or medical procedure, declining tests or ordering less expensive drugs from outside of the U.S. That is a 9 percent increase from the 2010 poll.

Other statistics from the poll show dangerous behavior, according to Consumer Reports, including 28 percent of Americans who take medication saying they have resorted to practices such as skipping a refill on a prescription, taking expired medication and scheduling a dosage without asking a doctor or pharmacist. Even more low-income Americans, 35 percent, took these steps.

Currently, 49 percent of Americans take prescription drugs. Misuse of drugs can result in injury or even death.

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