Seniors, Patients Taking Prescription Medicines Reject Government “Negotiation” When They Learn About Consequences, According to New Ipsos Poll

Patients taking prescription medicines are most concerned about preserving access and innovation while addressing insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2022) – A new Ipsos/PhRMA poll reveals that Americans do not support government “negotiation” of drug prices once they learn about the tradeoffs, particularly among those who would be most impacted – seniors and patients taking prescription medicines. Specifically, just 10% of seniors support government “negotiation” when presented with potential consequences of the proposal, including the negative impact on access to and future development of new medicines and treatments.

“Seniors and patients are clear. They do not support so-called government ‘negotiation’ when they learn it will sacrifice access and future innovation. Every country that has price controls has experienced these trade-offs, and non-partisan experts warn the same thing could happen in America,” said Debra DeShong, Executive Vice President for Public Affairs. “When presented with these facts, the American public rejects government price setting and instead wants Congress to focus on patient-centered solutions that improve health insurance coverage and lower out-of-pocket health care costs.”

Americans Feel Congress is Out of Touch with Their Health Care Needs

Support for Government “Negotiation” Plummets When Voters Learn About Trade-offs

  • Seniors overwhelmingly reject government “negotiation” when the learn it threatens access and future innovation. While three out of four seniors initially support the federal government negotiating drug prices, support among seniors falls to just 10% when told the policy could delay people’s access to new medicines.
  • Support from patients taking medicines drops to 17% when told government “negotiation” could lead to less research and development (R&D) for new medicines and treatments.

Americans Want Research and Innovation Protected and Incentivized

  • 80% of Americans agree it’s important to ensure ongoing R&D is protected and properly incentivized to continue the development of medicines to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological conditions and other illnesses. 
  • 72% of Americans also agree that R&D of new treatments must be protected and incentivized so patients who lack existing treatment options may be offered access to future treatments they need to lead longer and healthier lives. 

Voters Want Congress to Focus on Addressing Their Insurance Coverage and Costs

  • 70% of all Americans prefer a health insurance plan where they pay a slightly higher premium each month if it leads to better coverage and less out-of-pocket costs when they go to the doctor or fill a prescription, compared to just 30% who prefer a slightly lower premium with a higher deductible or copay.
  • Three out of four patients taking medicines (76%) are more likely to prefer a health insurance plan where they pay a slightly higher premium each month if it provides better coverage and pay less out of pocket.
  • Americans believe the most personally-impactful changes needed are placing a cap on the amount health insurers can make patients pay for their deductibles, copays and other out-of-pocket costs (33%) and giving insurers more incentives to keep the costs of health plans manageable for people who are sick and taking medicines (17%).

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. For more details on the Ipsos/PhRMA poll click here.

Learn more about our previous Ipsos/PhRMA release on health care coverage and costs here.

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $1.1 trillion in the search for new treatments and cures, including $102.3 billion in 2021 alone. 

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