GOP-Aligned Group AAN Launches Nearly $3 Million Ad Buy Giving Republicans Political Cover to Protect Drug Companies’ Profits

Washington, DC — Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation released its tracking poll finding that a majority of Americans across political party lines are in favor of policy options aimed at curbing the cost of prescription drugs. The poll found that 86 percent of people want the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price on medications for people with Medicare. Meanwhile, American Action Network (AAN), a GOP-aligned group, launched a $2.9 million ad campaign targeting 46 Republican House members and 11 Republican senators, calling for them to resist the calls for the incredibly popular proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement on the ad campaign:

“The American people are highly supportive of the policies on the table meant to rein in the soaring costs of prescription drugs, and it’s clear from these new ads that drug companies are running scared. Instead of learning the lesson from the November election and working to lower health care costs and improve coverage for all Americans, GOP groups are carrying water for drug companies by giving Republicans political cover to protect big pharma’s profits. It’s high time for Congress to protect Americans’ pocketbooks instead of drug companies’ bottomline, but unfortunately the Republicans didn’t get the message.”

Key Findings From the KFF Health Tracking Poll:

  • A Substantial Majority Favor Most Actions That Would Keep Prescription Drug Prices Down. “The vast majority of Americans favor requiring drug companies to include drug list prices in their advertisements (88 percent), making it easier for generic drugs to come to market (88 percent), and allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price on medications for people with Medicare (86 percent). All three of these policy proposals are supported by large majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans”
  • An Overwhelming Majority (86 Percent) Support Medicare Drug Price Negotiation. 86 percent of those polled support allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to secure a lower price for people with Medicare.
  • Eight In Ten Americans See Drug Company Profits As A Major Factor Contributing To High Prescription Drug Prices. “The public sees profits made by pharmaceutical companies as a major factor contributing to the price of prescription drugs. At least eight in ten – across party identification – say profits made by pharmaceutical companies are a “major factor” in the price of prescription drugs. This is followed by seven in ten (69 percent) who say the cost of research and development is a “major factor” contributing to the price.”
  • About A Quarter of Those Taking Prescription Drugs Say They Are Difficult To Afford. “Among those currently taking prescription drugs, about one-fourth (24 percent) and a similar share of seniors (23 percent) say it is difficult to afford their prescription drugs, including one in ten saying it is “very difficult.” Three in ten adults ages 50 to 64 report having difficulty affording their prescription medicines (30 percent) compared to about one-fourth of those ages 65 and over with Medicare (23 percent) and one-fifth of those under the age of 50 (21 percent), who take fewer drugs on a regular basis. This group, adults ages 50 to 64, is not yet eligible for Medicare but is more likely to be taking more prescription medicines than other non-Medicare eligible populations.”