Forbes: Prescription Drug Prices: A Bitter Pill in the Midterm Elections

2 min
October 31, 2018

Editor of the Money and Work channels for

All the campaign rhetoric leading up to Election Day 2018 next Tuesday is enough to give you a headache. Maybe that’s one reason why high prescription drug prices have become a major concern among older voters for the midterm elections.
“This is a pain point,” said Tim Lash, chief strategy officer of West Health Institute and president of West Health Policy Center. “We still have high prescription drug prices and we also have broken promises.”

Meanwhile, brand-name prescription drug prices have doubled between 2008 and 2016 and retail prices for many commonly-used brand name drugs by older adults soared an average of 8.4% in 2017, according to AARP. And AARP says the average retail price of a prescription drug for a chronic condition has reached $13,000 a year. Medicare drug spending — which accounts for 29% of the nation’s prescription drug spending — has grown by roughly 9.5% a year since 2009.

In a September survey by West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, 39% of voters 65 and older said prescription drug prices should be the single top priority for candidates. And 92% of registered likely voters over 50 surveyed by AARP said the candidates’ positions on lowering prescription drug costs are important to them.



Timothy Lash
President, Gary and Mary West Foundation
President, West Health Institute
President & Chair, West Health Policy Center