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Medical News & Perspectives
November 10, 2004

When Cost Is an Adverse Drug Effect, Patients Cut Corners and Risk Health

JAMA. 2004;292(18):2201-2202. doi:10.1001/jama.292.18.2201

In the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, nearly half of the patients that Alex Federman, MD, MPH, sees have Medicaid coverage. It pays for their prescription drugs, but Federman says a large number of his non-Medicaid patients struggle to pay for their medications.

“Many of the patients we see in this community have incomes of maybe $600 a month, they may take anywhere from 6 to 10 medications, and they have to pay rent of about $200 or $300 a month,” he says. “That doesn’t leave much money for other things, and paying for medications is a very real financial strain.”