Racial and ethnic disparities in the financial burden of prescription drugs among older Americans

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines racial and ethnic disparities in the financial burden of prescription drugs among older Americans using a market and an egalitarian model. A nationally representative data set, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2002, was used. The financial burden of prescription drugs was measured by the out-of-pocket expenditure and proportion. In the market model (utilization adjustment)., utilization was measured at the annual aggregate level by the total number of prescription drugs, the average refills and the average quantity per prescription drug. In the egalitarian model (need adjustment)., health was measured by 15 chronic and costly diseases and the SF-12. Individuals 65 years or older were included. Nationally representative estimates were calculated. Raw racial and ethnic disparities were observed in the bivariate analyses between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics in the out-of-pocket expenditure and proportion, and between non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks in the out-of-pocket proportion. However, these disparities disappeared after controlling for utilization or health needs. Insurance status contributed the most to the disparities in the financial burden of prescription drugs. In conclusion, The disparities in the financial burden of prescription drugs between non-Hispanic elderly whites and Hispanics may be attributable to differences in utilization patterns. However, whether health disparities contribute to disparities in the financial burden of prescription drugs requires studies of specific diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-49
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Health and Human Services Administration
Volume30
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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