Going Boldly To The Bottom: Poll Finds Opinion Of Big Pharma Hits Record Low

Sep 3, 2019

Americans Have Negative View of Drug Makers by Two-to-One Margin, Worst of Any Industry

And the winner of this year’s most poorly regarded U.S. industry?  We’ll give you a hint.  It’s not oil and gas, big banks or even the federal government – it’s Big Pharma.  A new poll released this morning from Gallup finds that public opinion of Big Pharma has hit a record low, “with Americans’ negative views of the industry outpacing positive views by more than 2 to 1,” POLITICO reports.  Public perception of drug makers came in dead last out of more than two dozen industries, with nearly 60 percent of respondents indicating a they have a negative perception of the pharmaceutical industry. Big Pharma’s numbers have never been lower since Gallup started polling Americans’ opinion on industries in 2001.

This should come as no surprise as Big Pharma continues to hike prices of medications at staggering rates despite the fact that one-in-four Americans can’t afford their prescription drug medications.  Over the past five years, Big Pharma has raised the price of brand name drugs at 10 times the rate of inflation.  And despite mounting public pressure from the public, lawmakers and the media, Big Pharma has shown no signs of curbing its price-gouging behavior – instead, the industry has continued to operate as one Big Pharma exec told stakeholders like “business as normal.”

  • 27 Percent: In June 2019, Big Pharma Hiked Prices On 106 Drugs By An Average Of 27 Percent. (Tatiana Darie, “Drugmakers Boost Prices Up to 909%, Defying Political Pressure,” Bloomberg, 7/9/19)
  • 4,483 Increases: In The First Seven Months Of 2019, Big Pharma Increased Prices On Prescription Drugs 4,483 Times. (Lina A. Johnson & Nicky Forester, “Brand-Name Drug Prices Rising At Slower Pace, Lower Amounts,” Associated Press, 9/19/19)
  • 4 Times Inflation: Over A Six-Month Period, Prices Were Raised On 3,443 Drugs By An Average Of 10.5 Percent – A Pace Four Times Faster Than The Rate Of Inflation. (Sarah Owermohle, “Drug Prices Persistently Rising Despite Trump Efforts,” POLITICO, 7/1/19)

Big Pharma’s never-ending price increases come as the industry continues to rake in high profits and spend record amounts on lobbying fighting to maintain the status quo.

This most recent poll is just more evidence of the unprecedented momentum that’s building to finally hold brand name drug manufacturers accountable for their price-gouging and anti-competitive tactics.  With Americans’ opinion of Big Pharma at a record low, Congress can’t afford to miss the opportunity to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices for Americans across the country. The U.S. Senate can take a strong first step by swiftly passing The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act Of 2019 when lawmakers return from their August break next week.

Learn more on the Senate Finance Committee drug pricing package and the momentum for action in Washington HERE.