Last week the nonprofit organization WestHealth released the results of a survey done for it by the Gallup organization. In their press release they said, in part:
A new West Health/Gallup survey finds nearly all Democrats (97%) and the majority of Republicans (61%) support empowering the federal government to negotiate lower prices of brand-name prescription drugs covered by Medicare. Overall, 8 in 10 Americans prefer major government action to control prices over concerns about it hurting innovation and competition from the pharmaceutical industry. The results come from a nationally representative poll of more than 3,700 American adults.
While President Joe Biden, Democrats in Congress and former President Donald Trump have called for such negotiation, Republicans on Capitol Hill and the pharmaceutical industry itself have been fiercely opposed to the measure, claiming lower prices would hurt competition and reduce innovation. However, this belief is not widely shared among the American people. According to the survey, less than 20% of all Americans believe Medicare negotiation would hurt innovation or market competition, including a minority of Republicans (39%).
“Americans aren’t buying the claim that attempts to reign in drug prices will stifle innovation and devastate the pharmaceutical industry,” said Tim Lash, Chief Strategy Officer for West Health, a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable successful aging. “These misleading arguments are meant to preserve profits rather than protect patients. The time has come to finally enable Medicare negotiation. Americans are becoming increasing restless for it to happen even if the pharmaceutical companies are not.”
“There is little question that substantial public support exists for more government action when it comes to addressing drug costs,” said Dan Witters, Gallup senior researcher. “And while there are differences across the political spectrum, even among Republicans, sentiment for public action is substantial.”