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consumers and drug prices

Will drug price angst unite America?

The executive director of Prescription Justice, Jodi Dart, published an op-ed in Morning Consult earlier this week called The Rx Rip-Off. The piece does contain Ms. Dart’s opinions but there are also some facts reported, ones based on a Zogby poll on drug prices commissioned by Prescription Justice. The poll shows that 90% of Americans are united on the need for the government to take action to make medication more affordable! As an incredible coincidence, President Trump tweeted just hours after the op-ed was published that “Pricing for the American people will come way down!

There’s a lot in this poll that I look forward to writing about but let’s consider some of the broad findings of the poll:

  • 75.5% of Americans agree with President Trump that the “drug companies are getting away with murder:
  • 29.6% of Americans say they have not filled a prescription because of cost.
  • 4.2% say they currently get prescription medication from a Canadian or other international online pharmacy.
  • 77% of respondents who had an opinion on the issue of importation laws (522 out of 674) supported reforms so that consumers could lawfully purchase medicines from Canada or other countries.
  • Only 15% of respondents were actually against legalizing personal drug importation (23% of those who had an opinion).

Source: Zogby Analytics, margin of error +/- 3.1%:

The Prescription Justice poll results are similar to those in a recent public opinion survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation on drug prices in late 2016. In that poll, for instance, 77% of Americans said that drug prices were “unreasonable” – an increase from 72% in 2015. What’s most unique about the Prescription Justice Poll is its focus on importation and online pharmacies. I’ll be doing a deeper dive on the findings in the coming weeks, especially those about buying medication online.

Ms. Dart also writes that Prescription Justice supports changing the law to allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and banning pay-for-delay deals in which brand name drug companies pay generic firms to postpone launching a lower cost medication. These actions would lower drug prices domestically and decrease the U.S. demand for and public health necessity of international online pharmacies (and the information provided by

On a final note, the public’s agreement with President Trump about the pharmaceutical industry getting away with murder was largely bipartisan: 75.1% of Democrats; 85.4% of Republicans; 64.1% of independents agreed. Polls may have been flawed during the presidential election. But the Prescription Justice poll proves the intensity and bipartisanship of our national anger over the cost of medication.

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