How Americans View Controlling Drug Prices

I think we need an independent group that oversees the pricing of McDonald’s hamburgers and another group that oversees the salaries granted to movie stars.

Here we go again, people want control, but they don’t want any responsibility. Don’t eliminate advertising that encourages the use of drugs and also the use of the most expensive brand drugs and don’t even provide incentives to use less costly alternatives. And the majority of people taking drugs don’t have a problem paying for them.

hands_pouring_out_pills_lg_nwmDo Americans not realize that pharmacy benefit managers currently negotiate drug prices under Medicare Part D to get lower prices to make their premiums more competitive? The possible marginal gain by getting Medicare into the act is not without consequences; one being shifting costs to the non-Medicare population.

As I have said repeatedly, Americans are not capable of thinking about health care costs and spending as they do everything else the purchase. That leads to poorly conceived laws and higher not lower total costs. 



When presented with a list of policy options intended to help keep the cost of prescription drugs down, the majority of the public is in favor of most of the policy actions, and large shares also believe that the options would be effective in addressing rising drug costs.

The vast majority of Americans favor requiring drug companies to release information to the public on how they set drug prices (86 percent), and eight in ten favor allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price on medications for people on Medicare (82 percent) and limiting the amount drug companies can charge for high-cost drugs for illnesses like hepatitis or cancer (78 percent).

In addition, 71 percent favor allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs imported from Canada and two-thirds (66 percent) favor creating an independent group that oversees the pricing of prescription drugs — a policy proposal put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in response to the EpiPen controversy.2

On the other hand, Americans are split on two potential policy actions: eliminating prescription drug advertisements and encouraging people to purchase lower cost drugs by requiring them to pay a higher share if they choose a similar, higher cost drug.

At the same time, relatively few Americans say they personally are having trouble paying for their medication. The survey finds about half (55%) of the public report currently taking prescription drugs, and the vast majority (73%) of them say paying for their medications is easy; far fewer (26% of those taking prescription drugs, or 14% of the total population) say it is difficult to pay for their drugs. Larger shares of those who report being in “fair” or “poor” health and those taking four or more medications say it is difficult to afford their prescriptions.

Source: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2016 | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

One comment

  1. As long as Bernie-types keep arguing that health care should be a right (what the really mean is a taxpayer funded privilege, like Social Security), you will continue to see people support government action. Why not housing? Why not food? Why not cars?

    Until you confirm that such government action results in depressing worker wages, or in limiting job opportunities, or in raising MY taxes, it will be a losing argument. Americans will continue to want the best coverage YOUR money will buy!


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