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Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs in Hawai'i: A 2003 Survey of Residents Age 18+

In 2002, the Hawai'i state legislature passed two laws to help the uninsured and underinsured pay for their prescription medications: Healthy Hawai'i and Hawai'i Rx. To date, neither program has been implemented in the state. This telephone survey of 1,002 age 18+ residents of Hawai'i gauges the importance of - and support for - implementation of the two programs. Among those interviewed...

  • Half, particularly those ages 50 and older and those with lower incomes, are concerned about being able to afford prescription drugs the next two years
  • Six in ten report having taken prescription medication in the past 12 months, and three-quarters of these are taking it on a regular basis
  • Over a quarter (27%) of those taking prescription drugs on a regular basis spent $100 or more out of their own pocket on prescription drugs in the last 90 days, and one in ten say they spent $250 or more
  • Half of those taking prescription medication on a regular basis say that paying for their drugs presents a financial burden, particularly for those with incomes less than $50,000
  • Most (84%) say it is important that the state offer a prescription drug program for persons who need help paying for their medications
  • Most support implementing the Healthy Hawai'i (77%) program and putting Hawai'i Rx (78%) into effect
  • Over half say they are more likely to vote for a candidate supporting implementation of the prescription programs

Interviewing took place from September 13 to October 11, 2003. The report was written by Jennifer H. Sauer of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted at 202/434-6207. (26 pages)

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