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National Survey Finds That in the Last Three Months Millions of Americans Are Stretching Their Drug Prescriptions, Saving Themselves Money, by Either Taking the Medication Less Often or by Taking a Smaller Dosage Than the Physician Prescribed

MEDIA, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 16, 2008 - Findings of this survey, conducted by independent market research firm, ICR / International Communications Research, project that over 13.5 million Americans, equivalent to over 1/5 of U.S. adults who use long-term prescribed medication (including those taking injectable medications), in the last three months, have taken steps to stretch out their medications, either reducing the dosage or taking it less often than prescribed.

Over 12 million Americans taking oral medications and over 1 million adult Americans taking injectable medications are projected to have begun stretching their prescriptions in the last three months, based on questions about recent behaviors in taking medication.

About one in ten patients who take even critical medications that must be injected by a health professional, like a physician or home health care service, have figured out ways to stretch out these often very expensive doctor recommended prescriptions. Overall, for injectable medicines, the percentage of patients who indicate stretching prescriptions in the last three months ranges from 9% (half million Americans) for medications injected by a health care professional, to 22% (more than ¾ of a million Americans) for self-injected drugs like insulin for diabetics.

Issues of overall cost and the recent financial climate, including factors relating to insurance coverage and medication co-pay are given by respondents as the most cited reasons that they have begun stretching out their medication prescriptions. Further research is required to more clearly understand all of the reasons for prescription stretching and to show ongoing trends in this new economic environment.

This study was conducted using ICR's EXCEL Omnibus survey. EXCEL is a national telephone omnibus service designed to meet the standards of quality associated with custom research studies. The EXCEL survey consists of a standard set of introductory and demographic questions supplemented by a changing series of questions on various topics. Each EXCEL survey consists of a minimum of 1,000 interviews, with 50% men and 50% women. EXCEL uses a fully-replicated, stratified, single-stage random-digit-dialing (RDD) sample of telephone households. Sample telephone numbers are computer generated and loaded into on-line sample files accessed directly by the CRT system. Within each sample household, one adult respondent is randomly selected using a computerized procedure based on the “Most Recent Birthday Method”.

This study was conducted with 1,020 adults from November 13 to November 16, 2008. Because this is a sample, and not an actual population, an associated margin of error applies. At a 95% level of confidence, the margin of error for this sample of 1,020 is +/- 3.1

ICR / International Communications Research

Based in Media, PA., ICR is a leading market research company which conducts research in more than 90 countries. ICR offers a full line of custom and omnibus research services. Its omnibus solutions include small business, teen and Hispanic research services. ICR's full suite of custom research services are guided by industry experts and advanced analytics, with a specialization in brand, customer loyalty, product development, market exploration, and public affairs research. For more information about ICR,




Contact: ICR / International Communications Research
Linda C. Lamberto


Posted: December 2008