The cost of prescription drugs is a major concern for Oklahoma AARP members responding to this survey. Nearly all report having purchased prescription drugs in the past 12 months; six in ten indicate that paying for their medications has been a major or minor problem, and even more are concerned about their continuing ability to pay. This is not surprising since almost half of members have spent $100 or more per month out-of-pocket for their prescription drugs. Over the past year, more than half have taken one or more steps to control the costs of their medications. While some may represent appropriate cost saving actions, such as seeking lower cost drugs by ordering on the Internet, others are potentially risky behaviors such as delaying filling a prescription, taking less medication than prescribed, or not filling a prescription at all. Members support a range of strategies to aid them in making informed decisions about medications, including creating a centralized drug information source, publicizing prescription drug costs and, in particular, having access to comparisons of drugs' safety and effectiveness.
This mail survey of 1,146 AARP members in Oklahoma was conducted from October 22 through November 19, 2004. The report is part of a larger mail survey and was prepared by Joanne Binette and Anita Stowell-Ritter, both of AARP Knowledge Management. Further information may be obtained from Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303. (18 pages)