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As out-of-pocket costs rise for medicines used to treat certain neurologic disorders — such as dementia and neuropathy — patients are less likely to take their drugs as often as prescribed, according to a new study. And the findings are the latest indication that increasing drug costs may lead to worsening health and, consequently, higher health care expenses in the future.

Specifically, when out-of-pocket costs rose by $50 for a 30-day supply of medicines, there was a lower rate of patient adherence, a term used to describe the extent to which someone takes a medicine or follows medical advice as prescribed. For instance, there was a 9% drop in adherence for drugs used to treat neuropathy and a 12% decline in adherence for medicines used to combat dementia.

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