968,000 people skimped on necessities to pay for their medicine in 2016, researchers find.
Nearly one million Canadians spent less on necessities like food and heat to afford their prescriptions in 2016, according to a new study.
The paper, published Tuesday, found that 730,000 people skimped on food and another 238,000 spent less on heating their home — a total of 968,000 people.
“We knew lots of Canadians were having trouble paying for medication,” said Michael Law, lead author on the paper and associate professor in UBC’s school of population and public health.
“Now we know they are trading off other everyday necessities in order to pay for prescription drugs.”
The study surveyed 28,091 people as part of the Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey, asking questions about their finances and prescriptions.
People without insurance, people with lower incomes and younger people in general were more likely to say they struggle to afford medication.
Indigenous people were nearly twice as likely to report challenges, as were women comparatively to men.