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Prescription Costs Burden Washington Residents Ages 45 and Older

2019 Washington State Residents 45-Plus Experiences with Prescription Drugs and Insulin

Washington State residents ages 45 and older are facing higher prescription drugs costs, especially for insulin, according to a recent AARP survey. Residents of the Evergreen State support legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Key Findings

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents report taking at least one medication on a regular basis, and  almost four in ten report taking four or more regularly. 

  • When asked to rate how reasonable the prices of prescription drugs are on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being reasonable and 5 being unreasonable), more than half rated the costs as a 4 or a 5.

  • More than one-quarter are spending more than $100 a month for their medication, and nearly half of respondents say their out of pocket spending on insulin has increased in the last four years.

  • To pay for prescription drugs, about one-fifth of respondents or their family have had to make adjustments such as cutting back on necessities like food, fuel, and electricity, or taking less medication than prescribed.


AARP engaged Alan Newman Research (ANR) to conduct a quantitative research study among Washington State residents ages 45 and older. Interviews were conducted December 2–19, 2019, with 812 residents of Washington, by landline (50%), cell phone (25%), and online (25%). All data are weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity according to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey (CPS) statistics.

For more information about the survey, please contact Cassandra Cantave at For media inquiries, please contact


Suggested citation:

Cantave, Cassandra. 2019 Washington State Residents 45-Plus Experiences with Prescription Drugs and Insulin. Washington, DC: AARP Research, February 2019. 

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