Majority of U.S. Residents Think Prescription Drug Prices Are Unreasonable, Harris Poll Finds
Two-thirds of U.S. residents say the cost of prescription drugs in the United States is "unreasonably high," and 60% are in favor of government price controls -- the highest portions in five years, according to a Harris Interactive poll, Bloomberg/Arizona Republic reports. The poll, a nationwide telephone survey of 1,012 adults in August, also found that the majority of respondents said prescription drug costs were "much higher" in the United States compared to Canada and western European countries where governments regulate prices (Hallam, Bloomberg/Arizona Republic, 9/21).
According to the poll, 41% of respondents said profit margin was the biggest contributor to drug prices, and 33% said it was marketing and advertising costs. Additionally, half of the adults surveyed said they believe pharmaceutical companies would continue developing new medications if prices were controlled by the government. Also, 64% said hospital prices were unreasonably high, with 55% supporting price controls on hospital charges (Harris Interactive release, 9/20). In 2003, U.S. residents spent more than $466 billion on medications, according to IMS Health (Bloomberg/Arizona Republic, 9/21).