Washington DC, March 15, 2022 – A new PhRMA and Ipsos poll finds that support for allowing government negotiation of some drug prices significantly drops, particularly among seniors and patients taking prescription medicines, when respondents see different arguments around the debate. Support for allowing government negotiation of some drug prices plummets among seniors – from 77% initially to 10% when told that the federal government negotiating drug prices could delay people’s access to newer prescription medicines. Americans appreciate the value of research and development of medicines and treatments and believe that process needs to be both protected and incentivized. At the same time, Americans support solutions that reduce health insurance costs and increase coverage.
The poll was conducted among 2,510 American adults using Ipsos’ probability based KnowledgePanel®, and it is representative of the American adult population. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
More people feel health insurance coverage and costs and COVID-19 rank as top health care priorities over prescription drug prices.
- Very few people taking prescription medicines (2%) feel that drug prices are the most important health care issue to them, instead citing health insurance coverage and costs (9%) and COVID-19 (14%) as greater concerns, tracking with how all Americans rank these issues.
Support for allowing government negotiation of some drug prices drops significantly when respondents see various arguments for and against government drug price negotiations, particularly for how negotiations may affect access to and innovation around new drugs and treatment.
- For each of the five arguments tested, support for government negotiations drops by double-digits.
- Seniors show the biggest dip in support. Initially, 77% of seniors supported the federal government negotiating drug prices when told it could save some Medicare patients money on their prescription drug costs. Seniors’ support falls to 10% when told that the federal government negotiating drug prices could delay people’s access to newer prescription medicines.
- Among patients taking prescription medicines, support for government negotiation fall by 56 points when told that if the federal government negotiates drug prices, it could lead to less research and development for new medicines and treatments (73% initially vs. 17% after).
Americans strongly agree research and development of medicines and treatments are important and need to be protected and incentivized.
- Four in five (80%) agree that it’s important to ensure ongoing research and development is protected and properly incentivized to continue the development of medicines to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological conditions, and other illnesses.
- People taking prescription medicines (85%) are more likely to agree with this than those who aren’t taking prescription medicines (72%).
- Many (72%) also agree that research and development of new treatments must be protected and incentivized so patients who lack existing treatment options may be offered access to the medicines and treatments they need to lead longer and healthier lives.
- Here, too, patients taking prescription medicines (76%) are more likely to agree with this than those who aren’t taking prescription medicines (63%).
The public feels insurance coverage and costs are major issues and believes solutions that address these problems would personally benefit them the most.
- When asked to pick the top two ideas that would create the most positive personal impact for them, one in three (33%) feel that placing a cap on the amount health insurers can make patients pay for their deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket costs would generate the most positive impact for them personally. That’s followed by giving insurers more incentives to keep the costs of health plans manageable for people who are sick and taking prescription medicines (17%).
- When given the choice between two options, Americans would, by far, prefer a health insurance plan where they pay a slightly higher premium each month, but have better coverage and pay less when they go to the doctor or fill a prescription (70%), than have a plan with a slightly lower premium but a higher deductible or copay when they go to the doctor or fill a prescription (30%). Patients taking prescription medicines (76%) are more likely to prefer a health insurance plan where they pay a slightly higher premium each month but have better coverage and pay less out of pocket than those not taking prescription medicines (58%).
For complete results, please download the fully annotated questionnaire.
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