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Expand chart
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

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.