According to an FDU Poll conducted in conjunction with AARP, nearly 90% of New Jersey residents at least 50 years old say it’s important for Congress and the president to act to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
Every year, Medicare spends more than $129 billion on prescription drugs but is legally prohibited from negotiating with companies to get better prices, as most developed nations do. Drug companies acknowledge that much of their profits derives from the high costs paid by Americans but claim they need those profits to fund research and development, a view that has been widely contested.
Views on prescription drug prices cut across party lines: 92% of Democrats say Medicare should be allowed to negotiate drug prices, while 85% of Republicans feel the same way. Similarly, 98% of Democrats say it is “very” or “somewhat” important for the president and Congress to agree on solutions this year; 91% of Republican respondents say the same. Support also crosses racial and ethnic lines, with 88% support among white, Black, and Hispanic voters 50 and older. That number climbs to 95% among Asian American voters.
“In a polarized political environment, there are very few issues where we get close to 90% agreement,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of government and politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the executive director of the poll.
Most New Jersey voters 50 and older (83%) say that they’ve been prescribed medication in the past two years, and 25% say they’ve decided not to fill at least one of their prescriptions. The cost of prescriptions was one of the most common reasons for not filling them.