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May 9, 2001

Cost-Sharing for Prescription Drugs

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(18):2328-2329. doi:10.1001/jama.285.18.2328

To the Editor: Dr Tamblyn and colleagues1 report that an increase in outpatient pharmaceutical cost-sharing among the poor and elderly in Quebec was associated with a decrease in outpatient pharmaceutical utilization and an increase in adverse health events. However, these results may not be generalizable to other populations, especially the privately insured population whose outpatient pharmaceutical spending usually represents a small percentage of their income. For many working insured individuals, co-payments and drug costs are low relative to household income. All other things being equal, individuals with higher incomes are less sensitive to price increases than individuals with lower incomes.

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