A survey finds 42 percent of consumers blame pharmaceutical companies excessive profits for high prescription drug costs. Another 23.3 percent cited expensive marketing, bringing the total number of respondents holding drug companies responsible for soaring prescription drug costs to nearly two-thirds.

Consumers continue to feel as though they are being taken advantage of by the pharmaceutical industry, which has obviously failed to adequately present its case for the high costs of prescription drugs, said Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc., an independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks.

The results of the online survey were based on voluntary responses from 1,834 individuals visiting the Weiss Ratings website. Presented with the question, What do you feel is the primary reason behind high U.S. prescription drug costs?, respondents were asked to vote once for one of six choices. The following is a summary of all responses received:

Drug companies padding their profits


Expensive marketing by drug companies


Expensive research and development costs


High cost of lawsuits for defective drugs




High demand due to consumer resistance against generics


Weiss Ratings issues safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including life and health insurers, property and casualty insurers, HMOs, and banks. Weiss also rates the risk-adjusted performance of more than 12,000 mutual funds and more than 8,000 stocks.

Weiss Ratings is the only major rating agency that receives no direct or indirect compensation from the companies it rates for issuing its ratings. Revenues are derived strictly from sales of its products to consumers, institutions, businesses, libraries, and governmental agencies.