Most Americans Say Drug Prices Are ‘Unreasonable’
Health Care

Most Americans Say Drug Prices Are ‘Unreasonable’

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A majority of Americans say that new prescription drugs have made life at least a little better over the last 20 years, but they also think that drug prices are unreasonably high – and drug company profits are to blame. 

The data comes from a new poll released Friday by the Kaiser Health Foundation, which found that:

* 80 percent of respondents blamed “profits made by pharmaceutical companies” for the high cost of prescription drugs, followed by the cost of R&D (cited by 69 percent of respondents), profits made by benefits managers (63 percent) and the cost of marketing and advertising (52 percent).

* Most Americans favor a variety of policies to lower drug prices, including allowing the government to negotiate Medicare drugs prices (86 percent), allowing Americans to buy drugs from Canada (80 percent) and placing an annual limit on out-of-pocket spending for drugs for those on Medicare (76 percent).

* While most respondents said the cost of their prescription drugs wasn’t a financial burden, about three in 10 said they hadn’t taken medicines as prescribed at some point in the last year due to the cost.

* The public does not trust pharmaceutical companies to price drugs fairly.