Study finds Alzheimer’s patients struggle to afford treatment

FIVE per cent of Alzheimer’s patients stop their treatment as they can’t afford it, says a new study.

Author of the study is Joaquin Carrasco, spokesperson for the Pharmaceutical School of Leon, who explained in a press conference that Alzheimer’s patients showed the highest numbers in terms of treatment interruption, as the medicines used to combat it were some of the most expensive ones.

However, the report also shows that during the past few years the cost of the medicines has decreased considerably thanks to the use of generic medicines, even though people with Alzheimer’s can pay up to €25,000 per year.

The study, based on interviews with 387 Alzheimer’s patients, confirmed that 40 per cent of them had issues when it came to taking their medicines.

Apart from financial issues, other reasons behind treatment stoppage included problems when swallowing the pills due to their taste or texture.

Just over 7 per cent of interviewees reported they faced problems even before taking the medicines, with issues such as difficulties opening containers or interpreting safety measures and doses.

Mr Carrasco considered this situation “alarming” and explained other secondary reasons such as forgetfulness, the fear of side effects or the belief of some patients that the medicines would not improve their condition.

The report also shows that 69 per cent of Alzheimer’s patients are women, with an average age of 84, and 81 years for male patients.

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