Medication-related waste hits poorest states harder, ESI study finds

Mississippi had highest amount of waste, Vermont had lowest

ORLANDO, Fla. — Unnecessary spending related to medications totaled nearly half a trillion dollars last year, and much of that was in the poorest states in the country, according to pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

ESI said the country wasted $418 billion on bad medication-related decisions, including $55.8 billion spent on higher-priced medications when cheaper alternatives were available; and $269.4 billion went to expenses related to poor medication adherence.

On a state-by-state level, Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, had the most wasteful spending, totaling $1,622.76 per resident. Other poor states with a high degree of waste included Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, New Mexico and Oklahoma. States in the Midwest and Northeast had the lowest levels of avoidable costs, with Vermont having the lowest overall at $1,004.39 per person.

 

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