More than 1 in 5 US adults can’t afford prescription drugs

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Over the past year, 22% of US adults have had to forgo prescription medications due to the cost. About one-quarter needed to see a doctor but could not afford it.

Beyond the chart: Between 1980 and 2018, US prescription drug spending increased by more than 10 times after adjustments for inflation, per the Congressional Budget Office. Among US adults who’d made healthcare changes due to drug costs, 18.7% delayed getting a refill and 16.4% rationed their medication, according to a February 2021 GoodRx study.