According to a survey of 1,249 Indiana adults, conducted from October 6 to October 11, 2022, respondents are concerned about prescription drug costs and express a strong desire for policymakers to enact solutions. In fact, 72% of Indiana respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the health system needs to change1.
More than half (55%) of survey respondents reported being somewhat or very worried about affording the cost of prescription drugs. Worry varied substantially by income group, with respondents in households making less than $75,000 per year2 experiencing the most worry (see Figure 1). However, it is important to note that a large percentage of households making above $75,000 per year also reported worrying about affording prescription drugs.
Many Indiana residents report being worried about prescription drug affordability both now and in the future. Indeed, nearly 1 in 3 Indiana respondents (30%) reported rationing medication by either not filling a prescription, cutting pills in half or skipping a dose of medicine in the last year due to cost (see Figure 2).
These hardships disproportionately impact people in lower-income households. As Table 1 shows, respondents living in households earning less than $50,000 and those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 per year reported higher rates of rationing their prescription medicines than respondents living in higher-income households.
These hardships are also alarmingly prevalent among respondents living in households with a person with a disability. These respondents reported notably higher rates of rationing medication due to cost in the past 12 months compared to respondents without a disabled household member.
Considering these prescription drug cost concerns—as well as concerns about high healthcare costs generally3 —it is not surprising that Indiana respondents were generally dissatisfied with the health system:
When given more than 20 options, the options cited most frequently as being a “major reason” for high healthcare costs were:
When it comes to tackling high drug costs, Indiana respondents endorsed several prescription drugrelated strategies:
Moreover, there is substantial support for government action on drug costs regardless of the respondent’s political affiliation (see Table 2).
While Indiana respondents are united in calling for the government to address high drug costs, they also see a role for themselves:
The high burden of healthcare and prescription drug affordability, along with high levels of support for change, suggest that elected leaders and other stakeholders need to make addressing this consumer burden a top priority. Moreover, the COVID crisis has led state residents to take a hard look at how well health and public health systems are working for them, with strong support for a wide variety of actions. Annual surveys can help assess whether progress is being made.
Altarum’s Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS) is designed to elicit respondents’ unbiased views on a wide range of health system issues, including confidence using the health system, financial burden and possible policy solutions.
This survey, conducted from October 6 to October 11, 2022, used a web panel from online survey company Dynata with a demographically balanced sample of approximately 1,335 respondents who live in Indiana. The survey was conducted in English or Spanish and restricted to adults ages 18 and older. Respondents who finished the survey in less than half the median time were excluded from the final sample, leaving 1,249 cases for analysis. After those exclusions, the demographic composition of respondents was as follows, although not all demographic information has complete response rates: