Poll Shows Connecticut Residents Want Action on High Prescription Drug Costs

By Jill Zorn |

Connecticut residents are worried they won’t be able to afford the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy.  They also strongly support a range of government actions to fight back against rising prescription drug prices, across party lines.

These views were among the results of a poll released at a press conference on April 12 at the Legislative Office Building coordinated by Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.  The statewide poll had over 900 respondents and was conducted by Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub in early February.

Speaking at the press conference, Frances Padilla, President of the Foundation, said, “The poll shows very clearly that Connecticut residents want action, regardless of their political affiliation.  They should not have to choose between taking their medications and putting food on the table.”

Greta Stifel of Berlin talked about the high cost of medications she needs to combat cancer and stay alive – and called on legislators to take action.

Laura Hoch, Manager of Advocacy for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, highlighted the negative impact rising drug prices have on patients with chronic conditions such as MS.

Ross Kristal, MD, Resident Physician at the Yale Primary Care Resident Program and Copello Fellow of the National Physicians Alliance, told a story about a patient of his who was readmitted to the hospital because she could not afford the inhalers she needs to combat a serious lung disorder.

Matthew Katz, Executive Vice President of the Connecticut State Medical Society spoke about the concerns of physicians who regularly see their patients struggle to afford their medications.

Representative Sean Scanlon, Senator Len Fasano and Comptroller Kevin Lembo also spoke at the event, highlighting the need to pass HB 5384, An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs, which was voted out of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee with bipartisan support.

Take Action to Help Curb High Prescription Drug Prices

HB 5384 requires pharmaceutical corporations, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurance companies to provide information to the state, as a first step to identify why prices are so high and how they can be controlled.  It also helps people afford their medicines when they have high deductibles and co-insurance.

There are only three weeks left in the legislative session.   Your State Representative needs to hear from you that this bill is a priority.   Call today and ask that HB 5384 be brought to the House floor for a vote.  And ask your Representative to:

  • Make sure that negotiated rebates are passed directly to the consumer when they are paying out-of-pocket for their medicines. This is crucial to give real relief to patients NOW.
  • Improve the bill. Right now the bill says pharmaceutical corporations that raise their prices by 25% in the previous year may be required to provide justification for this increase to the state.  A 25% threshold isn’t good enough.  Based on examples from other states, we are asking for a stronger threshold:
    • 10% increase over 1 year or
    • 40% increase over the past 5 years

To learn more about the poll, go HERE

To read the data brief on the poll go HERE

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