Inside the White House with D.C.'s most wired reporter. Sign up for Mike Allen's Axios AM.

Stories

What people think Big Pharma does with its money

Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

The public believes research costs and industry profits are both big factors in drug pricing — a perception that's pretty well aligned with the reality of where pharma's money goes.

By the numbers: The Kaiser Family Foundation's latest tracking poll asked respondents to identify the "major factors" contributing to high drug prices. They could pick more than one.

  • 80% said industry profits are a major factor.
  • Smaller-but-still-pretty-big majorities cited the factors that drugmakers usually point to instead.
  • 69% identified research costs as a major cost driver, and 63% put "major" responsibility on pharmacy benefit managers.

On balance, the public seems skeptical of pharma.

  • Most people — 71% — said they trust drug companies to come up with new and effective drugs, and to be honest about those drugs' safety and effectiveness.
  • But just 25% said they trust the industry to price its products fairly.

Yes, but: This poll also indicates that drug prices aren’t a problem for most people.

  • 75% said it's easy to afford their prescriptions, and 45% said they pay less than $25 per month. Unsurprisingly, poorer people and those in worse health had a harder time covering their bills.

Go deeper: Pharma's research budgets are usually bigger than its profits

More stories loading.