Americans for Prosperity released the results of a new survey conducted by YouGov on voter attitudes toward reducing the cost of prescription drugs.
Nearly seven in ten voters (68%) agreed that to reduce costs, the government should promote greater competition and cut the red tape that increases costs, in order to avoid jeopardizing new prescription drugs coming to market. Just 32% said the government should strictly control the price of prescription drugs, even if it leads to drug shortages or fewer new drugs coming to market in the future.
When asked to choose between having the government set prices or instead lowering prices by reforming the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nearly 3 in 5 voters (59%) favored the latter approach.
“Supporters of drug price-fixing have told us that fewer new medications is an acceptable price to pay for lower drug costs. Voters disagree – and strongly,” said Dean Clancy, Senior Health Policy Fellow at Americans for Prosperity. “A vast majority of voters want drug prices addressed through non-draconian measures that would expand access to medications and boost affordability.”
The survey comes as Congress considers legislation that would allow the federal government to set the price of hundreds of prescription drugs. The plan would allow the government to tax drug companies up to 95% for failure to comply with the fixed prices.
AFP, meanwhile, is urging lawmakers to pursue a personal option for prescription drugs. Among other things, the plan would give patients more affordable choices by increasing the supply of generic medications, and bring down costs by reforming the FDA’s approval process to make drugs available safely and more quickly.
The survey also asked voters about the FDA’s recent decision to approve a new Alzheimer’s drug called Aduhelm. The decision sparked disagreement among some experts who argued that the drug’s effectiveness has not been well-demonstrated.
Nearly half of respondents (49%) said the FDA was right to approve the drug in spite of this disagreement, to give individuals afflicted with Alzheimer’s the right to try it. Just 20% of voters said the FDA should not have approved the drug, since experts disagree about whether it is effective. 31% were unsure.
Voters were then asked whether the FDA should have approved the drug given that it is expensive and could drive up health care costs. 45% said the FDA was right to approve the drug, since it’s better for patients to have the option to access expensive drugs, rather than not have the option. Just 24% said the agency should not have approved the drug, since the high price tag will limit who can access it and drive up costs. Again, 31% of voters were unsure.
The poll was conducted by YouGov from July 28, 2021, to August 2, 2021, and surveyed 1,000 registered voters online nationwide. The results are representative of the U.S. national population. The poll has an estimated margin of error of 3.5%.
Click here to view the full results of the survey.