Background: Cost-related medication nonadherence (CRMN) occurs when an individual takes less medication than what is prescribed due to difficulty affording their medications. In adults with diabetes, medication nonadherence is associated with worse glycemic control and increased healthcare costs. The goal of this study was to determine what proportion of Alabama’s Medicaid population with diabetes experiences CRMN and to evaluate for potential risk factors for CRMN in this financially-at-risk population.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study surveying a population-based sample of adults (ages 19-64) with diabetes covered by Alabama Medicaid. We classified participants as experiencing CRMN if they responded yes to “Not including over the counter medications, was there a time in the past 12 months when you didn't take your medication as prescribed because of cost?” Using multivariable logistic regression, we examined what variables were associated with CRMN adjusting for demographic and clinical factors (insulin use, diabetes duration, receipt of care coordination, and self-rated health) .

Results: We included 1893 of 2235 (84.7%) participants who completed the survey and had complete data for the variables of interest in the analysis. This sample was predominantly nonwhite (60.7%) , female (73.9%) with a mean age of 52 ±10.1 years. Overall, 23.7% of participants reported CRMN. In the fully adjusted model, insulin use (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.11, 1.79) , use of a discount prescription plan (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.20, 2.00) , and self-report of poor health (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.33, 2.09) were significantly associated with CRMN.

Conclusion: We found that almost a quarter of a population-based sample of adults with diabetes covered by Alabama Medicaid experienced cost-related medication nonadherence. More research is needed to determine how to address this among this vulnerable population.


E.C.Ness: None. L.Juarez: None. C.R.Howell: None. L.Hohmann: None. A.Cherrington: Consultant; Bayer AG, Other Relationship; Novo Nordisk. C.A.Presley: None.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R18DK109501) UAB Diabetes Research Center (P30 DK079626)

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