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JAMA Infographic
Visualizing Health Policy
October 15, 2019

US Public’s Perspective on Prescription Drug Costs

JAMA. 2019;322(15):1440. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.15547

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines public opinion on prescription drug costs in the United States. Over the past 20 years, US drug spending has increased by 330% compared with a 208% increase in total US health expenditures. A large majority (78%) of the public sees drug company profits as the top contributor to higher health care spending. Lowering drug costs is the public’s top health policy priority for US Congress. While most adults (59%) say prescription drugs have made their lives better, many (79%) also say the cost is unreasonable. Three in 10 report they have not taken medications as prescribed in the past year because of the cost. Across political affiliations, the public supports many actions to lower drug costs. Requiring drug companies to include list prices in ads, making it easier for generics to come to market, and allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies are among the most popular strategies.

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Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Original data and detailed source information are available at http://kff.org/JAMA_10-15-2019.

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