Strong majority support requiring pharmaceutical companies to justify large drug price increases - 178 participants

Jun 08, 2016

On June 3, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill that requires pharmaceutical companies to justify drug price increases. As part of the bill, state health care regulators will be required to identify fifteen drugs with the highest price increases each year. Manufacturers of those particular drugs must provide the state Attorney General with a justification for each price increase, which the state will publish online. Read more about this issue. On June 8, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH require pharmaceutical companies to justify large drug price increases?”

“Should NH require pharmaceutical companies to justify large drug price increases?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Drug Price Increases NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 178 participants gave 293 responses

A total of 70% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 30% of participants, a higher than usual percentage, engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 293 responses from 178 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: The majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 73%, supported requiring that pharmaceutical companies justify large price increases.

  • “The price of pharmaceutical drugs are too expensive… Some of the people on these drugs are not even able to work and the co/pays are a thousand or more.”
  • “It’s time big pharmaceutical companies were forced to prove they are not price gouging.”
  • “It is definitely time that drug companies justify pricing for their medications. When a person on a limited income has to choose between food and maintenance medication—that is ridiculous.”

No: A minority, at 27% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, opposed requiring that pharmaceutical companies justify large price increases.

  • “It's a free market with little to no competition, no regulation—high prices are what you get.”
  • “Stop with all the restrictions on businesses. If you don't like high prices, then repeal monopolies. Repeal the laws that enshrine a few huge pharmaceutical companies. Let competition do for drugs what it's done for cell phones and computers.”
  •  “It is their business to run, their decision to make—not the state’s [decision].”

Other: As noted above, 30% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Broadening the discussion to include possible solutions to high drug prices: “If what you want is low drug prices, you open the market. Make it as easy to import a competing drug.”
  • Questioning the role of the government itself in drug price increases: “When you tax, subsidize, regulation [sic], license, litigate, and mandate everything to death, the cost goes up. Even with their subsidies, most western countries have less government intrusion in healthcare than the United States does.”
  • Expressing concern at the cost of all prescription drugs: “Generic drugs that sold for a couple of dollars years ago have now gone up astronomically. This country pays many times the price for the same drugs as other countries.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Should NH require pharmaceutical companies to justify large drug price increases? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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