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Higher co-pays associated with drop in medication adherence among breast cancer patients

Category: Breast

A positive breast cancer test can be devastating for a woman, but the good news is that, with the right medication, the condition can be treated successfully. However, a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that women with high co-payments for their cancer-fighting drugs are less likely to stick to prescribed treatments.

The Columbia University researchers who conducted the study said that it's not news that people with higher insurance co-pays are less likely to get all of their medications. However, when it comes to cancer treatments, failure to follow through on a doctor's orders can be deadly.

After reviewing the medical claims of more than 8,000 women, the team found that 21 percent of breast cancer patients experienced gaps of 45 days or more in their drug treatment, while another 10 percent were on their medications for less than 80 percent of the time they were supposed to be.

Furthermore, those with co-pays between $30 and $89.99 were the least likely to stick to their prescribed medications.

The researchers said that their findings point out a need to help make breast cancer medications more affordable, even for women with insurance coverage.

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