(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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank receives more than $5,000 from local organizations

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read