According to CNBC, the number of adult Americans without health insurance has risen to an astounding 11.3 percent. Without insurance, patients are left to pay for their prescriptions at full cost. Harvard Medical School points out that millions of U.S. residents actually skip out on taking their medications because they can’t afford the cost.
A study conducted by Ann Marie Navar, MD, Ph.D.; Benjamin Taylor, Ph.D.; Hillary Mulder, MS was posted on the JAMA Network. Its purpose was to examine cardiology patients who were prescribed PCSK9 inhibitors and whether or not they were able to obtain this medication through insurance.
PCSK9 inhibitors are a relatively new drug treatment for lowering a person’s cholesterol. The drug works to remove the protein proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9. Without this protein, the body doesn’t circulate any bad cholesterol throughout the bloodstream. That means a patient benefits from the medication by having a reduced risk of clogged arteries, strokes, and heart attacks.
Researchers studied participants who were prescribed PCSK9 inhibitors for the duration of one year. At the end of that year, it was discovered that only 47.2 percent of the patients actually got their insurance companies to approve the treatment. Of the remaining 52.8 percent, 34.7 percent did not fill their prescriptions. The participants reported that the out-of-pocket expense for obtaining the medication was just too high.
Over one-third of the patients were not being treated for their high cholesterol because of the rising drug costs. Since high cholesterol has no symptoms, it is extremely dangerous. In addition to the above-mentioned risks, individuals can also suffer a blood clot.
Patients who are diagnosed with high cholesterol shouldn’t go untreated. It is important that physicians speak with each individual client about possible alternatives if the prescribed medication is denied. To learn about using a Holter patch to determine a person’s overall heart health call ReactDx at 800-234-3278, or read our News & Updates page.
At ReactDx, we have been advancing diagnostic cardiology since 1981. ReactDx develops, manufactures, and provides service with the most reliable and sophisticated Holter patch monitoring systems in the world. Since its inception, ReactDx has been at the forefront of the cardiac telemedicine industry – pioneering technology, improving existing technologies and adding new applications.