A new study has shown that more than 2 million Americans now buy their prescription from other countries as a result of rising prices in the United States since the coronavirus began.
Based on analysis obtained from national survey data, it showed that 1.5% of adults obtained their prescription medications from outside the United States between 2015 and 2017.
The people who were most involved in this were found to be immigrants and seniors or to have inadequate health insurance coverage and tight budgets. Those who use the Internet to obtain health care information also participated, as the report published by the JAMA Network Open shows.
According to researchers from the University of Florida (UF), the number of Americans seeking cheaper prescription drugs is likely to increase due to rising unemployment from the coronavirus pandemic and loss of health insurance at work. It is already one of the challenges facing the insurance sectors due to the blockade.
“With the economic and health consequences of COVID-19 disproportionately impacting low-income and minority populations, more people in those groups may be looking for an alternative way to meet their drug needs,” said study lead author Young -Rock Hong, assistant professor of research, management and health services policies at the UF Faculty of Public Health and Health Professions.
Safety is a major concern with international drug purchases, the researchers said in a university news release. According to the World Health Organization, one in 10 medicines sold in the world are of inferior quality or counterfeit.
Study co-author Juan Hincapie-Castillo, an assistant professor of drug policy and outcomes, stressed that “patients may not be getting what they think they are getting.”
He said this is particularly dangerous for patients for whom even a small deviation of the dose can have serious consequences.
Insurers should take note of this development, as the resulting effect will be more deaths that are not related to the coronavirus.
With more Americans likely to buy prescription drugs outside of the United States, patient education and strict quality control are crucial, Hong said.
“Patients should be informed of these potential risks they may face, and policies seeking to achieve the importation of medical prescriptions should reinforce quality assurance and strict monitoring processes to promote the safe administration of imported drugs in the drug market. United States, “Hong said.
This is just one of the effects of inadequate health insurance coverage in the United States.