(The Center Square) – Prescription drug companies haven’t made many friends in Arizona.
A new poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based polling firm, found a large contingent of likely voters see the need for affordable medication.
Conducted Sept. 21 through Sept. 27, OHPI questioned 800 registered voters on behalf of AARP of Arizona. The margin of error is 3.5%.
Sixty-five percent of those polled said they are concerned about their ability to afford a prescription for themselves or a family member. Many said they had skipped filling prescriptions in the past because of pricing.
The most common response voters agreed with allowing was having Medicaid negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
“Arizonans are sick and tired of paying nearly four times what people in other countries pay for the same medicine,” AARP Arizona State Director Dana Kennedy said. “There are proposals on the table now that would finally help, and voters want to see action.”
Ninety-four percent liked the idea of price negotiations between Medicare and pharmaceutical companies.
AARP long has lobbied for federal negotiations of drug prices, as it would likely lead to lower cost prescriptions for seniors.
Opponents of allowing the government to negotiate prices call it an overreach that would stifle innovation of new prescription drugs. OHPI’s poll asked about this issue, and 66% of voters do not believe innovation will suffer if Medicare is allowed to negotiate for lower prices.
“It’s not too often that you see majority support for politicians of a voter’s contrasting party, even if it is only hypothetical support,” said Mike Noble, OHPI chief of research. “Arizona’s electorate couldn’t be more clear. Regardless of partisanship, voters want a Congressperson who will work to combat unaffordable prescription drug costs.”
A recent study from the RAND Corporation found drug prices in the U.S. are more than three times the cost of the same drug in another similar country.