Attorney Ronald E. Johnson of Schachter & Hendy concentrates on legal issues surrounding medical mistakes and health issues. A recent article in The New York Times reports that the economic downturn is affecting people's ability to pay for their medication.
The reporter interviewed several people to ask about their medication. Some people ask the pharmacist if they can just get a few pills at a time, depending on what they can afford. Others are asking which medications are more important and which they may have to do without. Sometimes these medications are for life-threatening conditions.
According to the New York Times, national surveys report that one third of the people questioned say they are not taking the required prescriptions because it costs too much.
Pharmacists say they have stopped making automatic refills for some customers because they realized they were not being picked up.
Unfortunately, some patients who can't afford to pick up their medications end up in hospital emergency rooms. One doctor, according to the New York Times, estimated that 80% of the patients he sees in a low-income clinic were not taking their prescription medicines. This situation is affecting all Americans, from people who are being laid off jobs and have no health insurance coverage, to working people who have health insurance but can't afford the co-payments on some medications.