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Among Illinois Medicaid patients, more than one-fifth of kids' prescriptions go unfilled, study finds


NEW YORK — More than one-fifth of prescriptions given to children at clinics in Illinois were never filled, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at nearly 17,000 prescriptions for more than 4,800 children in the Illinois Medicaid program who visited two clinics over a 26-month period. The study found "significant associations" between prescription filling and the clinical site, visit type and electronic prescribing.

The study found that among prescriptions that were filled, 69% were filled within one day, and prescriptions for antibiotics from one of the clinic sites, from sick and follow-up visits and electronic prescriptions were "significantly" more likely to be filled.

The authors, led by Rachael Zweigoron of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, suggested that there were system-level factors that affected prescription filling, and that adherence programs should account for factors affecting primary adherence.

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