Jan 24, 2023

Broad Majorities Reject Big Pharma’s Blame Game and Want Policymakers to Advance Market-Based Solutions to Crack Down on Big Pharma’s Egregious Pricing and Anti-Competitive Practices

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) released the results of a national survey conducted by Morning Consult today that found American voters overwhelmingly reject Big Pharma’s blame game and want policymakers to advance market-based solutions to hold brand name drug companies accountable.

“American voters overwhelmingly reject Big Pharma’s blame game and support market-based solutions from the new Congress and the administration to crack down on brand name drug companies’ egregious pricing and anti-competitive practices,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “Broad majorities of voters rightfully hold Big Pharma responsible for high drug prices as the pharmaceutical industry doubles down on a business-as-usual playbook including biennial price hikes, out-of-control launch prices and patent abuse to block more affordable alternatives from market.”

“Voters are eager to see lawmakers and the administration build on recent positive progress toward holding Big Pharma accountable to lower prescription drug prices,” Aronson continued. “Public support is especially strong, across party lines, for solutions that have previously won bipartisan support to crack down on Big Pharma’s patent abuse, including by stopping practices like ‘patent-thicketing,’ ‘product-hopping,’ and ‘evergreening.’”

The survey of 2,211 registered voters was commissioned by CSRxP and conducted by Morning Consult from December 20-22, 2022. Key takeaways include:

American Families Continue to Face Financial Uncertainty Affording Prescription Drugs

  • One-in-four voters say they or a family member had financial difficulty affording a prescribed medication over the last twelve months, a figure that has remained consistent across national voter surveys conducted in February 2022, September 2021, and January 2021.

Voters Support Positive Progress Toward Holding Big Pharma Accountable to Lower Drug Prices

  • 78 percent of voters support solutions passed into law in the last Congress to keep pharmaceutical companies’ price increases below the rate of inflation on certain drugs.
  • 78 percent also support ensuring pharmaceutical companies contribute significant cost-sharing when seniors reach the most expensive phase of coverage in the Medicare Part D program.

Voters Overwhelmingly Support Additional Action from Policymakers to Hold Big Pharma Accountable to Lower Drug Prices

  • 86 percent of voters agree Republicans and Democrats should work together to lower drug prices by holding the pharmaceutical industry accountable.
  • Three-in-four voters say Congress should do more to help lower prescription drug prices.

Voters Reject Big Pharma’s Blame Game and Want Policymakers to Reject Pharmaceutical Industry Policy Proposals Targeting Others in the Supply Chain 

  • Three-in-four voters say it’s important for the federal government and Congress to reject the pharmaceutical industry’s policy proposals targeting others in the supply chain that could increase the drug company profits, including massive majorities of Republicans (72 percent), Democrats (77 percent) and independents (69 percent).
  • More than three-in-five voters (62 percent) say pharmaceutical companies are most responsible for rising prescription drug prices out of all six major players in the pharmaceutical supply chain after hearing more information, more than five times the entity identified as the second most-responsible, the U.S. government (11 percent).

Broad Majorities Support Market-Based Solutions to Crack Down on Big Pharma’s Egregious Pricing and Anti-Competitive Practices

  • 85 Percent of voters say it is important that Congress prevent pharmaceutical companies from abusing the patent system to extend monopolies and keep prices high by blocking competition, including more-than-half of voters who say this is “very important.” This includes massive majorities of voters across party lines, with 86 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of independents agreeing stopping Big Pharma’s patent abuse is important.
  • 69 percent of voters support Congress passing legislation to stop the practice of “patent-thicketing,” the process where companies will build a dense web of many overlapping patents surrounding one drug, which extends periods of exclusivity on that drug and make it difficult for other companies to produce more affordable alternatives.
  • 70 percent of voters also support Congress passing legislation to stop the practice called “product-hopping” or “evergreening,” in which a drug company pursues strategies to reformulate a product and extend patent exclusivity.
  • 86 percent of voters say it is important, including more than half who say it is “very important,” that the federal government and Congress encourage fair prices for new treatments in line with their clinical value for patients.

Voters Support Regulatory Solutions to Boost Competition and Prioritize Clinical Value

  • 81 percent of voters consider it important federal agencies like the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourage greater competition in the prescription drug marketplace — including 80 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of independents.
  • 80 percent of voters agree that federal regulators at the FDA and U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should consider both a medication’s effectiveness for patients and its likely cost to patients and the U.S. health system in their decision-making.

Massive Majorities of American Voters are Concerned By Recent Examples of Big Pharma’s Egregious Pricing Behavior

  • 84 percent of voters find it concerning that the manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, including Pfizer, Moderna and Eli Lilly, are increasing prices on these products as they move to the commercial market.
  • 84 percent of voters are concerned with Big Pharma’s tradition of hiking prescription drug prices each January and July. A tradition which the industry recently maintained with 350 price increases at the start of January 2023 — that have since climbed to nearly 600.
  • 84 percent of voters expressed concern when they learned about the launch price of CSL Behring and uniQure’s hemophilila drug Hemgenix, which priced at $3.5 million was $600,000 higher than what experts at ICER estimated as the upper limits of a fair price.
  • 83 percent expressed concern about the launch price of Amylyx’s unproven amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) drug Relyvrio – which was priced between five and 17 times what experts estimated would be a fair price for the treatment.

Read more on the findings of the survey from Morning Consult HERE.

Read more on market-based solutions to lower drug prices and hold Big Pharma accountable HERE.