• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.


    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • 2019 Senior Report Senior Report: Older Americans have more options for home care, but still struggling.

    The United Health Foundation has released results of a sweeping new study benchmarking the health of older adults. The America's Health Rankings® Senior Report was created in partnership with GAPNA to improve the health of America's seniors.

    The data will help advanced practice nurses and other providers deliver quality care.

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  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • FREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Dementia Management Update"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)

    For September/October 2019 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Drug Industry-Sponsored Patient Assistance Programs Are Seldom Used by Older Adults

Despite expanded drug coverage under Medicare Part D, gaps resulting in out-of-pocket expenses remain.

This may force some seniors to ration their prescriptions, seek free samples from their physicians, and enroll in industry-sponsored patient assistance programs (PAPs).

A new study found that while seniors take advantage of free samples, they do not take advantage of PAPs, which are strongly linked to doctor-patient communication about them.

Researchers analyzed data from a 2006 survey of a diverse group of 14,322 Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age and older living in the community.

In the survey, each senior was asked if he or she received free samples or participated in a PAP. Just over half (51.4%) of all seniors in the study group reported receiving at least one free sample in the last 12 months.

Nearly 30% obtained samples more than once. Seniors with a regular doctor were more likely to report receiving free samples.

In fact, seniors who discussed costs with their doctor had twice the odds of receiving free samples compared with patients who did not.

Reported participation in a PAP, however, was dramatically low at only 1.3%. Those most likely to participate in a PAP had low incomes, lacked insurance coverage, and had less than a high school education.

As with free drug samples, seniors who talked with their doctor about drug costs were more likely to use PAPs than those who did not.

For details, see Gellad et al. (2011). Use of prescription drug samples and patient assistance programs, and the role of doctor-patient communication. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(12), 1458-1464.

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