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One in five doctors gives drugs away to poor patients: research

THE NETHERLANDS. One in five family doctors has given medicine away to people who are unable to afford it, the AD said on Monday.

In addition, nine in 10 doctors know that patients have avoided treatment because of the cost, the AD said.

The claim is based on two surveys: one of 300 family doctors and 400 pharmacists. The research found doctors and pharmacists are increasingly being confronted with people who cannot pay for drugs. Patients have to pay the first €385 of their annual healthcare costs, including medicines, themselves.

The survey also found that patients are most likely to skimp on physiotherapy, medicine, blood tests and visits to specialists because of the additional costs. And eight in 10 pharmacists have dealt with patients who order drugs but never pick them up because of the high bill.

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