- The Washington Times - Friday, March 1, 2019

Nearly nine in 10 people think drug companies should disclose list prices in TV advertising and a solid majority says the U.S. should align Medicare costs with what other countries pay, according to a poll released Friday that finds broad support for President Trump’s big ideas for making prescriptions cheaper.

Mr. Trump says forcing companies to post the list price of their drugs, alongside side effects and benefits, in ads will compel Big Pharma to think twice about raising prices, even if few consumers pay the full price after insurance or discounts.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found 88 percent of Americans like the idea.

Meanwhile, 65 percent say the U.S. should pay similar amounts for Medicare drugs as other countries do — a concept espoused in Mr. Trump’s “international pricing index” to better align the cost of doctor-administered drugs in Part B with what, say, the Germans, Japanese and Australians pay.

Some conservatives say the idea amounts to unacceptable price controls, though Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says prices are already fixed under Part B, so foreign countries are simply freeloading off the U.S.

A narrow majority of Republicans, 54 percent, support the administration’s idea.

Drug prices are a leading concern for voters, notably seniors, so politicians of all kinds are brainstorming ways to bring them down.

Democrats say it’s time to go bold by letting the government negotiate down prices directly under Medicare, though Mr. Trump and the rest of the GOP says that’s too heavy-handed and would result in the rationing of drugs.

Still, nine in 10 people told Kaiser they support the idea, including a whopping 80 percent of Republicans.

An idea with a greater share of GOP buy-in on Capitol Hill — letting Americans import drugs from Canada — got a thumbs-up from 80 percent of those polled, with solid support across parties.

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