2005 Prescription Drug Study (Final, Version 1.0)

November 12, 2008

The HRS 2005 Prescription Drug Study (Final, Version 1.0) is now available.

The Health and Retirement Study strives to provide high quality data without compromising respondent confidentiality. Since respondent health data records contain particularly sensitive information, such data products are released to researchers who qualify for access only through a supplemental registration system.

Users who were approved for previous versions of this sensitive health data product can download newer versions using the same password.

First-time users should visit the What's Available page and click on the link at the bottom which leads to the sensitive health data special download procedures.

The HRS 2005 Prescription Drug Study is a supplemental study conducted in 2005. It is the first wave of a two-wave mail survey designed to track changes in prescription drug utilization as Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, is phased in. The baseline wave, administered in 2005, was intended to capture prescription drug use, coverage, and satisfaction prior to the implementation of Medicare Part D, as well as awareness of the new drug benefit and available subsidies. In addition, questions about sources of information on Medicare Part D and expectations of the impact of Part D on prescription drug cost, coverage, and health were asked.

The sample for the Prescription Drug Study (PDS) was drawn from respondents to HRS 2004. The study sample included HRS respondents born in 1942 or earlier (65th birthday in 2007), or already covered by Medicare or Medicaid at some time between 2002 and 2004 with oversamples of persons lacking prescription drug coverage or having low income and wealth.

A total of 4,684 respondents returned questionnaires or completed a telephone interview, for a response rate of 88.1%.

New to this final release is the inclusion of the medication file (PDS2005E), which contains detailed medication data for each respondent who completed section E of the questionnaire. This file includes drug names, information on dosage, cost, and adherence. Future releases will also include data from sections F and G.

Please refer to the corresponding data documentation file for more information on the background and file structure of these data, including sample selection and weights.

Note: Be sure to check the HRS File Merge Cross-Reference Table for up-to-date information on the restricted data merge status of this data set.

If you find any problems with the data, please report them to us via the Help Desk, or by e-mail to hrsquestions@umich.edu.