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Press Release

Yes on 61 on Kaiser Study: Americans Say High Drug Costs Are Top Health-Care Priority for New President and Congress

Yes on Prop. 61
Posted on: 28 Oct 16

The latest national Health Tracking Poll by the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation shows Americans rank addressing high prescription drug costs as the top health-care priority for the next president and Congress. The survey found that “Making sure high-cost drugs for chronic conditions, such as HIV, hepatitis, mental illness and cancer, are affordable to those who need them is viewed as a ‘top priority’ by 74 percent of the public and majorities of individuals across party lines. In addition, the majority of the public say government action to lower prescription drug prices is a top priority.” These two issues ranked as the top two concerns. To read the full poll click HERE.


Table 1: Top Health Care Priorities for the Next President and Congress


Percent who say each of the following should be a top health care priority for the next President and Congress






Making sure that high-cost drugs for chronic conditions, such as HIV, hepatitis, mental illness and cancer, are affordable to those who need them

74% 84% 73% 68%

Government action to lower prescription drug prices

    63     75     64     49

The reason the American public says drug costs are its top concern is further evidenced by the 2017 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey released yesterday. Segal Consulting found that price inflation for prescription drugs is one of the leading drivers of health-plan cost increases in 2017.

Reporting on the survey, the drug discount blog 340BInformed wrote, “healthcare payers expect claims costs for specialty and biotech drugs to rise by almost 20 percent next year…claims costs for prescription drugs overall are expected to rise by 9.9 percent for retirees 65 and older and by 11.6 percent for adults under 65…Growth in claims costs for specialty and biotech drugs is expected to be almost twice that, ‘an exceptionally high 18.7 percent.’ By comparison, consumer prices rose just 1.5 percent during the 12 months that ended in September 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“While typically less than 1 percent of all medications are specialty drugs…those drugs now account for 35 percent of total projected prescription drugs cost trends for 2017,” Segal said in its report. That’s up 10 percentage points in just two years, 340BInformed reported.

Proposition 61, the California Drug Price Relief Act, would require the state of California to negotiate with drug companies for drug prices that are no more than is paid for the same drugs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Prop. 61 empowers the state, as the healthcare buyer for millions of Californians, to negotiate the same or an even better deal for taxpayers, saving the state billions. The measure is the only opportunity voters in California will have this year to address the high cost of prescription drugs, and it is the only drug-pricing measure on the ballot in the United States.

Prop. 61 has been endorsed by AARP, the California Nurses Association, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his new organization Our Revolution, Consumer Watchdog, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, civil rights and labor activist Dolores Huerta, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Urban League, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Campaign for a Healthy California, Progressive Democrats of America, Social Security Works and VoteVets Action Fund.

Paid for by Yes on Prop 61, Californians for Lower Drug Prices, With Major Funding by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and California Nurses Association PAC. FPPC ID#1376791

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Last updated on: 28/10/2016

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