(Unsplash)

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Many Canadians are borrowing money to afford their prescription drugs, a study from the University of B.C. suggests.

The study, published Tuesday in CMAJ Open, found that 2.5 per cent, or 731,000, of Canadians admitted to borrowing money to cover medication costs.

Researchers analyzed data from Statistics Canada’s 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey, which looked at the drug buying habits of 27,519 Canadians.

They found that millennials were 3.5 times more likely to have to borrow money than those between 45 and 54 years old.

People without private drug coverage were twice as likely to need a loan to buy prescription medication.

The study did not differentiate how Canadians borrowed the money, whether it was credit cards, pay day loans or money from friends and family.

One-third of those who borrowed money had to do so for prescriptions costing $200 or less, while a quarter borrowed money for drugs costing between $201 and $500.

“These new findings suggest that many people are going into debt to cover the costs of their prescription medications every year,” said the study’s lead author Ashra Kolhatkar, a research coordinator at UBC’s Centre for Health Service and Policy Research.

“A key finding in our study was that borrowing occurred for all levels of out of pocket costs, and over 60 per cent of borrowing reported by the respondents in the study was for prescriptions that cost $500 or less.”

Michael Law, senior study author and the Canada Research Chair in Access to Medicine, said that a solution needed to be found to allow Canadians to buy drugs debt-free.

READ MORE: Health committee cheers idea of national pharmacare

READ MORE: Watchdog praises changes made so far after B.C.’s health worker misfirings scandal

“Some provinces like Ontario and B.C. have implemented new public coverage programs to assist younger and lower-income Canadians who don’t have private drug insurance,” said Law.

“Moving forward, we will need to investigate the impacts of these policies and continue to assess where people are falling through the cracks.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

NCAA basketball comes to UVic this fall

Eight-team tournament features top university women’s basketball teams Nov. 28-30

Westhills Stadium launches expanded stadium with ceremony, excitement

expanded stadium accommodates 6,000 spectators

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read