Voters Don’t Buy Big Pharma’s Claims About Reduced Innovation; More Than 4 Out Of 5 Believe Drug Companies Should Be Required To Negotiate Lower Prices With Medicare

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new national survey released today demonstrates overwhelming and unwavering support among voters for Congress to take action to lower the prices of prescription drugs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices and curbing drug company price hikes. The poll, conducted by the bipartisan research team GS Strategy Group and Hart Research Associates, finds that 83 percent of voters back Medicare negotiation and 77 percent are in favor of limiting annual drug price increases, including support from large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

Poll results show that American voters do not buy Big Pharma’s arguments against drug pricing reform, as nearly 80 percent of respondents say the pharmaceutical industry can live with slightly lower profits and still provide the innovation patients need, and almost 7 out of 10 say Congress must take action to lower prices set by drug companies, not just to reduce out-of-pocket costs. The poll also demonstrates the urgency of the issue, with 85 percent of voters believing Congress should make lower prescription drug prices an important priority and nearly 90 percent believing Congress has not done enough to address the issue.

“While our country wrestles with deep divisions on so many issues, the overwhelming popularity of prescription drug pricing reforms — including the ones before the Senate right now — is striking,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “This issue is deeply personal for Americans, with almost half saying they or a family member have suffered harm to their health or finances because of high drug prices. The Senate can deliver an unprecedented victory for the people of this country by passing comprehensive drug pricing reforms, including empowering Medicare to negotiate, but it must take action now. Americans can’t wait.”

This new poll was released in tandem with a campaign launch, “Push For Lower Rx Prices,” joined by over 70 organizations representing patients, consumers, seniors, unions, small businesses, large employers, physicians, nurses, and disease advocacy groups. The campaign calls on the Senate to make meaningful progress by Memorial Day on a reconciliation package that includes the comprehensive drug price provisions already passed by the House of Representatives.

The drug price provisions under consideration by the Senate will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines, including insulin; institute a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and limit copays on insulin for millions of Americans to $35 each month; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations.

Read the full poll memo here.