Data Brief | No. 147 | January 2023

Indiana Residents Worried about High Drug Costs; Support a Range of Government Solutions

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:

  • Just 28% out of 1,218 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “we have a great healthcare system in the U.S.,”
  • While 72% out of 1,213 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “the system needs to change.”

When given more than 20 options, the options cited most frequently as being a “major reason” for high healthcare costs were:

  • 75%—Drug companies charging too much money
  • 72%—Hospitals charging too much money
  • 69%—Insurance companies charging too much money

When it comes to tackling high drug costs, Indiana respondents endorsed several prescription drugrelated strategies:

  • 92%—Require drug companies to provide advanced notice of price increases and information to justify those increases
  • 91%—Cap out-of-pocket costs for life-saving medications, such as insulin
  • 91%—Authorize the Attorney General to take legal action to prevent price gouging or unfair prescription drug price hikes
  • 89%—Set standard prices for drugs to make them affordable
  • 89%—Prohibit drug companies from charging more in the U.S. than abroad
  • 87%—Create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to examine the evidence and establish acceptable costs for drugs

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:

  • 80%—would switch from a brand name to an equivalent generic drug if given a chance
  • 54%—have tried to find out the cost of a drug beforehand



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.


  1. Percentages included in this brief are out of total number of respondents (N = 1,249) unless stated otherwise.
  2. Median household income in Indiana was $58,235 (2016-2020). U.S. Census, Quick Facts. Retrieved from: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Indiana
  3. For more detailed information about healthcare affordability burdens facing Nevada respondents, please see Healthcare Value Hub, Indiana Residents Struggle to Afford High Healthcare Costs; Worry About Affording Healthcare in the Future; Support Government Action across Party Lines, Data Brief No. 146 (January 2023).


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: