Majority of Consumers Say Rx Costs ‘Unreasonable,’ but Affordable
Nearly 75% of U.S. residents find the cost of prescription drugs to be "unreasonable," but most still can afford the treatments, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll, Kaiser Health News reports (Galewitz, Kaiser Health News, 6/16).
Researchers polled 1,200 U.S. residents between June 2 and June 9. The poll was available in English and Spanish (DiJulio et al., KFF Health Tracking Poll, 6/16).
Among U.S. residents who take prescription drugs, 74% consider the cost of them unreasonable. Meanwhile, 72% of U.S. residents who do not take prescription drugs found the cost unreasonable.
However, among the 50% of U.S. residents who take prescription drugs, more than 75% said such drugs are easy to afford. Meanwhile, among those same residents:
- About 20% said they experience difficulty paying for such drugs;
- About 25% said they or a family member have skipped filling a prescription within the last year; and
- 18% have skipped doses or cut pills in half for cost-related reasons.
Respondents had differing opinions on the reasons for the high costs of prescription drugs. For example:
- More than 75% attributed them to drugmaker profits;
- 64% cited medical research costs as a reason;
- 54% cited marketing costs;
- 49% said the costs of lawsuits against drugmakers were a reason; and
- 10% said insurance companies were a factor, noting they ask enrollees to pay too much of the share of drug costs.
According to Kaiser Health News, the findings build on the April KFF Health Tracking Poll, which reported drug costs as the public's top health care priority facing Congress and the president (Kaiser Health News, 6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.