Prescription drug price reforms are a major part of pending legislation in Congress. With prescription costs on the rise, Americans are dealing out large sums of cash to afford prescriptions. Americans pay more than three times what patients pay for the same brand of drugs in other first-world countries. Voters across the country are voicing their opinions on lowering the price of prescription drugs, but where do Arizona voters stand on the issue?
Dorn Policy Group, Inc. is one of Arizona’s top public affairs firms. We partner with organizations to ensure their business goals are met and voices are heard by Arizona’s elected officials. Read our blog post below and learn what Arizona voters think about prescription drug pricing legislation in Congress.
Impact of High Prescription Drug Prices in Arizona
A study conducted by Data for Progress on behalf of Protect Our Care and Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, shows almost 8 out of 10 (79%) believe prescription drug costs are “unreasonable.” While many patients will spare the cash even for overpriced medication, these prices make prescriptions inaccessible to some.
A survey commissioned by AARP Arizona found that one-third of voters have decided not to fill a prescription that a doctor has given them in the last two years. These steep prices have a stronger effect on minorities, as nearly half (46%) of Hispanic or Latino voters in Arizona have skipped filling a prescription, compared to only 29 percent of white voters.
Should Medicare Have the Power to Negotiate the Price of Prescriptions?
Every year, Medicare spends more than $129 billion on prescription drugs, but is legally prohibited from negotiating with companies to get better prices. Congress is working on a plan that gives Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. The voter support study conducted by Data for Progress shows the overwhelming, bipartisan support for this reform across Arizona. The data shows that 90 percent of Arizona voters back reforms that give Medicare the power to negotiate.
Arizona’s Stance on Other Proposals to Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Giving Medicare the power to negotiate was the most favored initiative for Arizona voters, but is not the only proposal pending in Congress. Other proposals include:
- Prevent charging the US more than other countries
- Closing price loopholes
- Putting a cap on seniors’ drug expenditures
- Penalizing drug companies that raise their prices higher than inflation
A penalty of pharmaceutical companies raising prices higher than inflation was the least favored initiative in the survey, but still garnered support from 84 percent of voters. An overwhelming majority of Arizona’s electorate agrees: Congress needs to tackle high prescription drug costs because some people can’t afford to buy medicine and pay for other necessities.
Would Lower Prescription Drug Prices Hurt Pharma Innovation?
While lowering prescription drug prices is highly favorable amongst Arizona voters, pharma’s top argument is that this type of reform could slow innovation and development of new prescription options. A majority of Arizona voters believe there must be a way to reduce prescription drug prices without stunting new product development, with 89 percent agreeing with the statement that “prices can be lowered without harming innovation.”
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