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Prescription Drug Affordability: An AARP Survey of Washington Voters

How favorably inclined are Washington State voters age 18 and up toward legislative proposals aimed at helping the state's residents to be able to afford their prescription drugs, especially those with lower incomes who feel financially strained by paying for their medications?

Those participating in this telephone survey generally view the issue of prescription drug affordability as a significant one, and most would support a state prescription drug program for residents, particularly the uninsured. Respondents were given brief descriptions of four proposals being introduced in the 2005 state legislature that many feel will help make prescription drugs more affordable:

  • Implementation of a bulk purchasing pool
  • Implementation of a state pharmacy assistance program
  • Federal and state legalization of purchasing prescription drugs from Canada
  • State restriction of the value of gifts from pharmaceutical company representatives to prescribing health care professionals to $25 or less

Roughly half indicated strong support for each and, even though they are just as likely to favor the bulk purchasing pool as they are pharmacy assistance, slightly more are inclined to support the bulk purchasing pool over the other proposals.

Interviewing for this random digit dial telephone survey took place between November 18 and December 1, 2004. A total of 801 self-identified registered voters age 18 and up were interviewed. The report was prepared by Jennifer H. Sauer of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted at 202-434-6207 for further information. (19 pages)

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