New poll suggests Big Pharma losing battle over CA pricing ballot
- Proposition 61, also known as the California Drug Price Relief Act, endeavors to put the prices paid by California's Medicaid Program on par with those set by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs—a 24% percent discount from the average manufacturers' price.
- A new survey from Tulchin Research, a polling and strategic consulting firm, showed 73% of the 800 likely voters polled support the proposition. The poll found support crosses racial, socioeconomic, age and partisan lines.
- The opposition, led by pharmaceutical firms, contends that if Proposition 61 is passed, 35 million Californians will not benefit because of various built-in inclusion and exclusion criteria. The pharma industry has mounted a $70 million counter-attack against the proposition, headlined by more than $17 million in funding from J&J, Pfizer and Merck.
Tulchin's results were based on responses from 800 "likely November 2016 voters" polled between July 21 and July 24. According to the results 77% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans support the initiatives, as do 75% of Whites, 72% of Latinos and 81% of African Americans.
“Our research finds Proposition 61, the measure to lower drug prices in California, carries strong support among voters across the state and across key demographic groups," said Ben Tulchin, president of Tulchin Research. "Voters recognize the high cost of prescription drugs and support this effort to address the problem.”
However, it is important to note the survey was commissioned by the "Yes on Prop 61/Californians for Lower Drug Prices" organization. The opposition has also commissioned polls, but has yet to release official results.
The No Prop 61 movement has a stronghold of support from more than 100 veterans', medical, patient advocacy, trade union and special interest groups, including groups such as AMVETS, the California Association of Neurological Surgeons, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California NAACP and the San Diego Building Trade Association.
The opposition argues that if Proposition 61 is passed, roughly 88% of the state's population will not benefit because of various built-in exclusion criteria.
“Prop 61 ignores the sacrifices veterans have made for our country," said Dale Smith, Commander of the California Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "This deeply-flawed proposition could increase prescription drug costs for veterans and their families. We hope all Californians will vote no on Prop 61 to protect veterans."
California is not the only state with a ballot measure on drug price controls, Ohio has a similar ballot measure tying drug prices to discounts received by the VA.