Heart failure patients skip meds due to cost, study finds

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Many patients with heart failure skip pills due to medication costs, according to research by the Mayo Clinic.

The study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, tracked the pharmacy records of 209 patients ages 60 to 86 years in Olmsted County, Minn., who were asked how often they missed doses or didn’t take their drugs at all and why.

Among patients who didn’t follow their medication regimens well, 46% reported they had stopped taking statins or did not fill a prescription because of cost, while 23% said they skipped doses to save money. Younger patients were slightly more likely to skip doses than older patients, and men were more likely than women to not stick to certain drug regimens.

“We found patients weren’t filling their prescriptions because of the expense,” lead study author and Mayo Clinic cardiologist Shannon Dunlay said. Dunlay said patients who have heart failure and are worried about costs should tell their physicians, as lower-cost alternatives may be available.

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