Poll finds U.S. residents believe prescription drug prices are too high

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Nearly three-quarters of people in the U.S. believe prescription drug prices are unreasonable, according to the monthly Kaiser Health Tracking poll released on June 16.

Of the 73 percent of respondents who thought the drug prices were unreasonable, 76 percent said the main reason was pharmaceutical companies set the prices too high. When asked about factors contributing to high drug prices, the most common responses were pharmaceutical companies seeking profits, the cost of medical research, the cost of marketing and advertising and the cost of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.

Between June 2 and June 9, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,200 adults living in the U.S. Of the patients, 686 were currently taking prescription drugs and 508 were not taking medications.

The survey found 76 percent of respondents who were currently taking prescription drugs said it was easy to afford them, while 21 percent said it was difficult. One-quarter of patients who were currently taking prescription medications said they or a family member had not filled a prescription in the past 12 months due to the drugs’ high costs.

The poll also asked questions related to the King v Burwell case that the Supreme Court is expected to hear later this month. Of the respondents, 44 percent said they had never heard of the case and 28 percent said they had only heard a little about the case. The case will determine if people who purchase coverage on the federal health insurance marketplace will continue to receive tax credits to help them afford the coverage.

Asked their views on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view and 39 percent had a favorable view. Those percentages were statistically similar to answers from the April poll.