Most Americans Say Drug Costs Are ‘Unreasonable’

Nearly three in four Americans say the costs of prescription drugs are “unreasonable,” with most putting the blame on drug makers, according to a poll releases Tuesday.

The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 74 percent of those taking prescription drugs find the costs unreasonable, as do 72 percent of those not taking such drugs. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

The poll builds on the results of an earlier Kaiser survey in April that identified high drug costs as the public’s top health care priority for Congress and the president.

Drug costs have gained attention in the past year as a result of controversies surrounding Sovaldi and other new hepatitis C drugs, which can cure most cases of the deadly liver disease but at a price of $84,000 for a 12-week treatment. The high cost has strained Medicaid and Medicare budgets and left private insurers scrambling.

Half the public says they take prescription drugs. More than three quarters of those say they are easy to afford, with only one in five saying they have difficulty paying for them. But about a quarter of respondents said they or a family member have not filled a prescription in the past year, while 18 percent have cut pills in half or skipped doses to save money, the poll found.

For entire article: .pdf | Kaiser Health News