Poll: Most Americans support government action to keep drug prices down

A new poll by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and STAT finds that most Americans support government action to keep down the prices of brand-name prescription drugs. The poll found broad support across party lines for letting Medicare (the federal health insurance program for older and disabled Americans) negotiate drug prices for program recipients with pharmaceutical companies.

The poll was released December 1, 2015.

About 7 out of 10 respondents supported letting Medicare negotiate prices for all prescription drugs, and another 13% supported negotiations for cancer medications and other high-cost drugs.

This support comes despite the fact that just 2 out of 10 respondents said that drug prices were a major problem for them personally.

“It’s not people’s experience. It’s people’s outrage,” said Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, who directed the poll.

But pollsters also found that respondents were less behind any particular proposal to lower drug costs than the general sense that something should be done, and did not give either political party an advantage on this issue.

Read STAT article: STAT-Harvard poll: Dismayed by drug prices, public supports Democrats’ ideas

Learn more

Drug Pricing: Public Health Implications (video from The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)