Nearly 9 in 10 Americans are concerned that the pharmaceutical industry will leverage the coronavirus pandemic to raise drug prices, according to a new West Health/Gallup poll released Thursday.
The survey found that 88 percent of Americans are worried about a rise in drug prices, with 55 percent saying they are “very” concerned and 33 percent saying they are “somewhat” concerned.
The level of concern is mostly similar across various demographics but is split along party lines. Sixty-six percent of Democrats say they are very concerned, compared with 49 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of independents.
Another 79 percent say they are very or somewhat concerned about their health insurance premiums rising and 84 percent say they are very or somewhat concerned about the general cost of care rising.
To try to blunt a rise in drug prices, 88 percent of respondents to the poll said they support having the government directly negotiate with drug manufacturers on the price of a treatment for the coronavirus. That support is roughly equivalent across all parties.
However, respondents also faulted the government for its response to the coronavirus, with 34 percent calling it “poor” and 23 percent calling it “fair.” Only 9 percent said the response was “excellent” and 14 percent said it was “good.”
The survey comes as polling shows Americans facing concerns over how they will pay for their health needs. Prior West Health/Gallup polling has shown that 14 percent of Americans who experienced coronavirus symptoms have been unwilling to seek treatment because of the cost of care and that 23 percent of Americans did not have the money at least once in the past 12 months for needed prescription drugs.
The poll also comes as the country sees a new spike in cases in several states, raising the prospect of further job losses and steeper financial difficulties.
The West Health/Gallup poll surveyed 1,016 adults from May 11-22 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.