May 28, 2021
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89% of small businesses believe the cost of prescription drugs is too high. 55% of small businesses providing healthcare coverage to employees say rising costs are hindering opportunities for growth. 63% of small business owners have an unfavorable view of pharmaceutical companies.

These adverse beliefs about the pharmaceutical and healthcare setting in the United States was unveiled by a new national Small Business for America’s Future survey.

Small Business for America’s Future is a national coalition of business owners and leaders working to provide small businesses a voice at every level of government. The survey interviewed 1,052 small business owners in the US on their thoughts on healthcare and pharmaceutical costs.

Survey: Rising Healthcare Costs Affecting Small Business

Among the key findings was 66% of small businesses believe the current prescription drug market isn’t working and requires a major overhaul. 87% of small business owners say it is important that the Biden-Harris administration and Congress take action to lower prescription drugs costs.

The findings of the survey are important as they confirm that the rising cost of healthcare including prescription drugs are a major concern for small businesses. Many small business owners are of the belief that the financial implications of healthcare and prescription drugs are hindering business growth.

Small Business for America’s Future Co-Chair Erika Gonzalez, an Allergy and Asthma Medical Professional and small business owner based in San Antonio, commented on the urgency of the situation:

“The cost of healthcare and prescription drugs have skyrocketed for many small businesses and it’s having a real impact on their growth.

“If we are going to have a strong small business sector and economic recovery, we need our policymakers to act to rein in these costs. It’s an urgent priority of small businesses,” Gonzalez added.

Holding Off Hiring

More than a third of the small businesses surveyed rising healthcare costs has meant they have held off hiring a new employee.

40% say they have increased the costs of products and services as a result of healthcare costs increasing.

15% of survey participants admit to having reduced their workforce or laid off an employee due to rising healthcare costs.

Over a third of small businesses that provide healthcare coverage to employees say they have changed or reduced such coverage as a result of growing costs.

What is the Solution?

The research shows that small businesses in the United States are in support of policies and measures to lower the costs of prescription drugs and healthcare.

82% of the surveyed said it’s time for the government to limit unjustified price increases to not more than inflation. A similar number (79%) believe lower drug prices will not hurt the healthcare industry’s ability to develop new treatment and cures.

Almost 90% of small business owners are in support of capping out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors enrolled in Medicare.

85% support the adoption of policies that eliminate anti-competitive behaviors and patent abuses that extend brand drug monopolies that block price competition.

The Small Business For America’s Future report confirms the importance and urgent need to advance a fair economic framework in relation to healthcare that works for small business owners and their employees so that business growth can be nurtured and sustained.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Rising Healthcare Cost Blamed for Slowed Small Business Growth” was first published on Small Business Trends