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More People Cutting Corners to Pay for Medications

Pill Splitting Not Always OK

Randy Wexler, MD, says the new poll findings mirror what he sees and hears in his practice. He is an associate professor of family medicine and the vice chair of clinical affairs at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

“I had one patient who would not see a specialist due to cost, even though a test suggested they had cancer,” he says. And “every day someone asks if they need to take all of their prescribed medications due to cost.”

This is not just affecting senior citizens. “This is more common in the elderly, but we are seeing it more and more in younger individuals because the cost of health care has gotten so high,” he says.

Wexler has a social worker on staff that spends the biggest chunk of her day price-shopping for patients. “We know that the lower the drug costs, the higher the compliance," he says. “There are times we have to say, ‘This is your condition, this is the money you have to work with, this is what can be forgone.’”

Some people may split pills to save money. This is not always OK. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before splitting pills,” he says. And “it’s never OK to take medication prescribed to someone else."

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