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.