Consumers Across the Political Spectrum Want Lower Drug Prices, Poll Finds

Regardless of political affiliation, the public supports congressional action to allow the federal government to negotiate prices.

Lowering prescription drug prices is a top priority for Democrats, independents, and Republicans alike, according to Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest Health Tracking Poll.

Nearly nine in 10 (88%) of those who participated in the poll favor allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower prices on medications (see Figure 1), including three-fourths (77%) of Republicans, nine in 10 independents (89%) and 96% of Democrats. Majorities of Democrats (66%), independents (56%), and Republicans (58%) also say placing a limiting on out-of-pocket costs like prescription drug costs for seniors is a top priority..

Survey respondents say profits made by pharmaceutical companies are the largest factor contributing to the price of prescription drugs. This is followed by about seven in 10 who say the cost of research and development is a major factor contributing to the price, and about half saying that the cost of marketing and advertising is a major contributing factor to the cost of prescription drugs.

About half adults say they are currently taking at least one prescription drug and about a quarter say they currently take four of more prescription medications. Twice as many of those taking four or more prescription drugs say they have difficulty affording their prescriptions (35%), compared with adults who currently take three or fewer prescription medications (17%).