The study was conducted by researchers from Boston University. Its findings rank Mississippi fifth and Alabama seventh nationally in terms of the amount of personal income spent by residents on prescription drugs.
The findings show that in both states residents spend almost double the amount of income they earn on prescription drugs, than that of residents in other states. Why? Researchers say the problem is not necessarily that prescription drugs are higher in Mississippi and Alabama.
In fact, numbers show both states are close to the national average in terms of the amount spent on prescription drugs. However, they say the disparity stems from incomes being so much lower in the Twin States than the national average. Therefore, it causes the amount spent on prescription drugs to be disproportionate.
As part of the study, researchers also found a link between states dealing with major health epidemics such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma and how much is spent on medication.
Mississippi and Alabama both rank at or near the top in these areas. The question now is could it get worse in terms of residents in the twin states, spending even more personal income on prescription drugs? The answer is maybe.
On Sept. 15, Mississippi's changes to the Medicaid program are set to take effect. This will leave some residents to pick up the slack where drug costs are not covered, a change that for many could be a hard pill to swallow.