Visualizing Health Policy: US Public’s Perspective on Prescription Drug Costs

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines public opinion on prescription drug costs in the United States (US). Over the past 20 years, US drug spending has increased by 330% compared to a 208% increase in total US health expenditures. A Large majority (78%) of the public see drug company profits as the top contributor to higher health care spending. Lowering drug costs is the public’s top health policy priority for the US Congress.  While most adults (59%) say prescription drugs have made their lives better, many (79%) also say the cost is unreasonable. Three in 10 report they have not taken medications as prescribed in the past year because of the cost. Across political affiliation, the public supports many actions to lower drug costs. Requiring drug companies to include list prices in ads, making it easier for generics to come to market, and allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies were among the most popular strategies.

Visualizing Health Policy is an infographic series produced in partnership with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The full-size infographic is freely available on JAMA’s website and is published in the print edition of the journal.


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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.