High Drug Prices Keeping Americans from Addressing Medical Issues

“Some people prioritize other things above life-saving drugs out of desperation.”


A new survey conducted by Gallup and West Health has found that more than 34 million Americans said that their family members or friends passed away in the last five years because they were not able to afford treatment for their medical conditions.

The survey, which was conducted on more 1,000 people across 50 states, does not confirm that a lack of medical care directly caused the deaths.

However, the findings suggested that the high prices of prescription drugs and health care have kept Americans from addressing their medical issues. Some people said their friends or family members could not afford prescription medications.

The survey also found that women were 10 percent more likely to report high drug prices as a major barrier. Low-income people were more likely to be uninsured and unable to pay for prescription drugs.

The poll found that more than 85 percent of Americans have been supporting legislation to cut down the costs of prescription drugs, irrespective of income, education, or employment status.

US health care remains an outlier when it comes to medical expenditures. It has also been found that US health care spends two times more than other developed nations.

Dr. David Bishai from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who is not a part of the pool, told CNN, “The conditions create the ‘perfect storm’ for gaps in care: Pharmaceutical prices are climbing as Americans are made to pay higher deductibles for prescription drugs.”

“Some people prioritize other things above life-saving drugs out of desperation,” said Dr. Bishai, referring to housing, childcare and food as essential that come before medicines. With the introduction of Obamacare, the rate of uninsured people dropped dramatically in the last five years; however, the numbers have started to increase again. According to Gallup, more than 13 percent of Americans are uninsured.