Medication costs, adherence, and health outcomes among medicare beneficiaries

Ramin Mojtabai, Mark Olfson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a two-year period more than two million elderly Medicare beneficiaries did not adhere to drug treatment regimens because of cost. This poor adherence tended to be more common among beneficiaries with no or partial medication coverage and was associated with poorer health and higher rates of hospitalization. The risk for cost-related poor adherence was especially pronounced among lower-income beneficiaries with high out-of-pocket drug spending. We argue that this pattern of cost-related poor medication adherence should inform the design of Medicare prescription drug benefit legislation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-229
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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