New Report Finds 82% of Patients Still Experience Medication Delays, Despite Healthcare Industry Advancements

2022 Medication Access Report highlights challenges that persist in post-pandemic healthcare and opportunities to progress toward a healthier, more equitable medication access system 

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 8, 2022 - New data released today by CoverMyMeds found 82% of patients experienced medication delays in the last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, insurance processes, communication challenges and prescription cost.CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021 Of patients who experienced medication delays, 85% had to make financial sacrifices to afford their prescriptions.CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021

In addition to medication delays, many patients also postponed medical visits in the past year. According to the 2022 Medication Access Report, 84% of patients delayed or skipped in-person healthcare visits, mostly due to COVID-19 fears or a scarcity of appointments,CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021 contributing to an estimated 500 million missed diagnostic visitsIQVIA Institute Digital Health Trends, 2021 and more than 15 million fewer new prescriptions.IQVIA Medical Claims Data Analysis, 2021

Jzon, a person living with multiple sclerosis, sought care at an emergency room, but left due to overcrowding. According to the 2022 Medication Access Report, 84% of patients delayed or skipped in-person healthcare visits in the last year due to COVID-19 fears or a scarcity of appointments.

The 2022 Medication Access Report uses industry research, patient interviews and new survey data from patients, pharmacists, providers, payers and biopharma companies to identify opportunities for healthcare technology to improve medication access. Additional key findings in this year’s report include: 

Patients face mounting medication affordability challenges

  • 79% of patients said they’ve gone to the pharmacy only to discover a prescription cost more than they expected.CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021 Nearly 31% of those patients left without their medication or did not seek affordability options.CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021

  • When faced with an affordability challenge, 56% of patients attempted to stretch out a prescription, 52% of patients skipped bills or other essential items to afford medications, and 51% of patients sacrificed medications to pay bills and other essentials.CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021

Care teams in every setting are affected by pandemic stress

  • 54% of pharmacists said they lack time to complete their job effectively, with 81% citing inadequate staffing and 73% citing time-consuming administrative tasks.CoverMyMeds Pharmacist Survey, 2021

  • Physicians also felt strained by unprecedented demands, with 42% reporting burnout and 69% feeling depressed.Medscape National Physician Burnout & Suicide Report, 2021

Timely, actionable data is needed across the healthcare ecosystem to improve patient care

  • To better inform affordability conversations with patients and help patients start specialty therapies, 56% of providersCoverMyMeds Provider Survey, 2021 and 63% of pharmacistsCoverMyMeds Pharmacist Survey, 2021 said they need access to patient-specific benefit information.

  • However, only 25% of providersCoverMyMeds Provider Survey, 2021 and 36% of pharmacistsCoverMyMeds Pharmacist Survey, 2021 said they have in-workflow access to critical information, such as plan- and pharmacy-specific pricing, cash pricing and patient deductible data needed to effectively support patients on their medication access journeys.  

The 2022 Medication Access Report also highlights technology solutions that automate historically manual processes and provide actionable information that better enable care team members to help patients get the medicine they need.

“For decades, the U.S. healthcare industry has wrestled with utilizing technology and timely insights to address quality, cost, choice and convenience to create better patient outcomes,” said John Beardsley, senior vice president of corporate strategy at CoverMyMeds. “But in the last two years, we have witnessed new digital health solutions emerge to meet the heightened needs from care teams and patients. By adopting newfound workflows and the latest technology to navigate patient care, the industry can further improve healthcare interoperability and progress toward the vision of improved outcomes.”

The report is published by CoverMyMeds, part of McKesson Corporation, with an advisory board of industry leaders from Albertsons Companies, California Chronic Care Coalition, Cambia Health, Cerner, Clearview Healthcare Partners, Community Health Network, eMDs, Horizon Government Affairs, National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, National Patient Advocate Foundation, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Ontada, Orsini Healthcare and PioneerRx.

To view the full 2022 Medication Access Report, click here.

Those attending HIMSS22 March 14 – 18, 2022 can visit CoverMyMeds at booth 2721 to learn about medication access solutions, including prescription decision support tools that empower providers with patient-specific data to support informed prescribing and affordability conversations. For more information about CoverMyMeds at HIMSS22, click here.


  1. CoverMyMeds Patient Survey, 2021
  2. IQVIA Institute Digital Health Trends, 2021
  3. IQVIA Medical Claims Data Analysis, 2021
  4. CoverMyMeds Pharmacist Survey, 2021
  5. Medscape National Physician Burnout & Suicide Report, 2021
  6. CoverMyMeds Provider Survey, 2021