New Nationwide Morning Consult Poll Reveals High Drug Prices A Major Issue For U.S. Voters, Broad Support for Reforming the Patent System to Enhance Competition

Broad, Bipartisan Support Exists for Congress to Pass Drug Pricing Reforms Next Year and Reform the Patent System

WASHINGTON D.C. – A new post-election survey of almost 2,000 registered voters nationwide conducted by Morning Consult finds that the rising cost of prescription drugs was a top issue for voters in this year’s election and moving forward there is broad, bipartisan support for Congress to address this issue next year. 

Click Here To Read Morning Consult’s New Poll Analysis

The new poll, which was released today by the Coalition Against Patent Abuse, also reveals that a majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, all believe the major pharmaceutical companies which can raise prices due to patent monopolies are most responsible for high drug prices and in particular, that Congress should pass reforms to prevent companies from extending these monopolies through the patent system.

“Americans pay almost four times more for drugs on average than other similar countries and this poll makes clear it was a top issue for voters heading into this year’s election.  More importantly, voters are expecting leaders in both parties to finally come together and pass bipartisan legislation next year that will lower the price of prescription drugs.  That includes long overdue reforms to the patent system and addressing the systemic abuses that have hurt patients and families, “Matthew Lane, executive director of the Coalition Against Patent Abuse.

Topline Poll Findings Via Morning Consult:

  • Two-thirds of voters (65%) believe pharmaceutical companies are most responsible for the rising prices of prescription drugs.
  • Seventy-two percent of voters said the rising prices of prescription drugs was an important factor in how they voted in this year’s election.
  • Four in five voters (80%) would prefer their member of Congress work collaboratively with members of other political parties to achieve bipartisan solutions to lower drug prices.
  • Nearly three in five voters (58%) support legislative efforts to reform the patent system.
  • Three-quarters of voters (74%) believe Congress should pass bipartisan drug reforms that include reforms to the U.S. patent system. 

Key Facts:

  • Americans individually pay 3.7 times more for drugs than other countries. In 2015, prescription drug spending in the U.S. totaled $1,000 per person.
  • In 2018, the U.S. saved $293 billion from generic competition. Brand-name drugs represent only 10 percent of prescriptions but 77 percent of drug spending.
  • Many expensive older drugs already have competition in other countries but not in the U.S. due to the lapse of exclusivities. These drugs would be 79% less expensive today if they followed the average savings from generic entry. As for biosimilars, an IQVIA report, using an estimated savings of about 30%, projects $100 billion in savings from biosimilar competition over the next five years, although the authors note that higher discounts have occurred and are possible in the future.

Read more about CAPA’s recommendations to fight abuses of the patent system and lower drug costs here.

Methodology: This poll was conducted between November 4-November 8, 2020 among a national sample of 1991 Registered Voters.  The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Registered Voters based on age, gender, educational attainment, race, and region.  Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

About CAPA
The Coalition Against Patent Abuse are healthcare providers, consumer groups, patient advocacy organizations, free market advocates, employers, and others fighting abuses of the patent system that can extend government-granted monopolies that illegitimately keep drug prices high for years, or even decades. Our members include the following groups and organizations: America’s Health Insurance Plans, Association for Accessible Medicines, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, Citizen Outreach, Consumer Action, Innovation Defense Foundation, Institute for Liberty, Kaiser Permanente, Knowledge Ecology International, Lincoln Network, Niskanen Center, R Street Institute, SEIU, Society for Patient Centered Orthopedics, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.