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Report: Medicine use falls with high copays

Wednesday, May 19, 2004 Posted: 9:09 AM EDT (1309 GMT)

CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) -- Sharp increases in out-of-pocket prescription drug payments could cause people to cut use of medications for chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes and may lead to more costly medical problems, according to a study.

Doubling co-payments, the amount paid by patients, was linked to reduced use of eight types of drugs for problems like asthma, depression and allergies, according to a study released by a unit of the nonprofit research organization RAND Corp.

Spending on outpatient prescription drugs, along with hospital and doctor costs, is rising at several times the rate of inflation.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/19/prescription.use.reut/index.html