Colorado Prescription Drug Affordability Board Voter Opinion Survey

Survey Purpose and Objective:

The objective of this survey was to measure voter support and opposition levels for a policy proposal to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that would lower the cost of certain prescription drugs and medications for Coloradans. This voter opinion research project was jointly managed by Magellan Strategies and RBI Strategies & Research of Denver.

Survey Parameters and Methodology:

This survey interviewed 656 registered voters in Colorado. The interviews were conducted from December 14th to 17th, 2020. The overall responses have a margin of error of +/- 3.84% at the 95 percent confidence interval. Survey data collection was conducted by sending a text invitation to a random sample of registered voters and by interviewing older voter population subgroups over the telephone (using real people). The survey data were weighted to be representative of the demographics of the registered voter population in Colorado. The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative commissioned the survey.  

Key Findings:

The initial opinions of the Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) proposal were very positive, with 77% of voters supporting the general concept of the Board and 54% strongly supporting it. Only 15% of respondents opposed the policy.

The initial PDAB proposal received majority support across every major demographic group. A striking 94% of Democrats said they support the proposal, along with 80% of Unaffiliated voters and 54% of Republicans. Support for the proposal was overwhelming across all age groups, 82% among voters 18-44, 72% among 45-64, and 74% among 65+. Support levels among men and women were strong – 84% among women, 71% among men, and across all income levels.

Voters were overwhelmingly supportive of the PDAB’s mission, operations, and member governance. Respondents were informed about PDAB’s functions, membership, and approach to lowering prescription drug costs by reading/being read eight different informational questions. 

When presented with five statements in opposition to the PDAB policy proposal and four statements in support, respondents found the messages in support more convincing.  None of the opposition messages were deemed “very convincing” by more than one-quarter of respondents. In contrast, the top two supporter messages were rated “very convincing” by over one-half of respondents.

A majority of respondents said they share the view that prescription drug costs need to be brought in line with other countries and support the PDAB putting a necessary cap on the cost of unaffordable drugs. Just 23% of voters shared the viewpoint that PDAB was unnecessary and the free market should regulate the cost of prescription drugs.

After respondents were informed how the PDAB would operate and hearing statements in support and opposition to it, they were again asked if they supported or opposed it. Among all voters, support for the PDAB was 71%, with 42% strongly supporting the proposal. Only 24% of voters opposed, with 14% being strongly opposed.

Conclusion

The survey finds broad voter support for the concept of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board in nearly every population subgroup in Colorado. Support for PDAB is strong even before voters learn how the PDAB would operate (77% support) and after hearing statements in support and opposition to the PDAB (71% support). The survey results are not surprising when considering lowering prescription drugs’ costs has been a priority for many voters for a long time. 

Furthermore, Coloradans view the PDAB’s approach to lowering prescription drugs’ costs by comparing the costs in the U.S. to costs in other countries as logical and fair. A substantial majority of voters – 69%, also agree with the viewpoint that PDAB will put a necessary cap on the cost of unaffordable drugs so that Coloradans can get the medicines they need at a reasonable cost. 

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