This should not come as a surprise, but the Great Recession continues to take a toll on prescription fill rates. In the first six months of this year, the so-called abandonment rate has inched up still more - reaching almost 10 percent of all new prescriptions for brand-name meds, according to the latest data provided by Wolters Kluwer, a market research firm.
That's up from slightly higher than 9 percent during the second half of 2009, and significantly higher than the 7.5 percent notched during the second half of 2008, when the recession took off and the stock market plummeted. The current rate is almost double what was seen in 2006. But abandonment rates for generics held steady at about 5 percent, reflecting the lower costs for copycat meds (see the write up for the last six-month report here).
Of course, it's not just the combination of lost jobs and smaller portfolios that have contributed to the trend: more people with prescription drug coverage have also been asked to dig deeper to cover costs. One likely exception, however, are prescriptions for kids. As one pharmacist told us recently, many parents may quiver at prices, but will still shell out for their children.