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Poll: 1 in 5 US adults report trouble affording prescription drugs

Poll: 1 in 5 US adults report trouble affording prescription drugs
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About 1 in 5 U.S. adults say that they or someone in their household has been unable to afford drugs that were prescribed to them in the past 12 months, according to a new poll from Gallup and West Health. 

The survey found that 22.9 percent of U.S. adults said there had been a time in the past year when their household was unable to pay for drugs they were prescribed, up from 18.9 percent in January. 

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The poll illustrates the struggles many Americans have paying for medication at a time when lowering drug prices is an intense subject of debate in Washington. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE has railed against high drug prices and has proposed some steps, including linking certain Medicare drug prices to lower ones paid in other countries, but he has not taken any major action that has gone into effect yet. 

The Gallup survey finds the public is mostly negative on Trump’s performance on the issue so far, with 66 percent of adults saying he has done “not very much” or “none at all” to fight high drug prices. Twenty percent said he had done a “fair amount” and 7 percent said “a great deal.”

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Do Democrats really want unity? MORE (D-Calif.) is pushing a sweeping bill to allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices on up to 250 drugs per year. Republicans oppose that measure, warning it would hinder the development of new treatments, but some are supporting smaller measures like a bill in the Senate from Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury MORE (D-Ore.). 

Drug companies say that the problem is insurers and pharmacy benefit managers who are not passing discounts they receive on to consumers.