Poll: Majority of Republicans support Medicare negotiations for prescription drug prices

A majority of polled Republicans backed giving Medicare the authority to negotiate lower prescription drug prices in a survey released Thursday.

A West Health/Gallup poll showed widespread support for giving the federal government “a major role” in negotiating drug prices, with 61 percent of Republicans and 97 percent of Democrats saying they backed such an initiative.

Overall, 81 percent of respondents said they supported Medicare negotiations to regulate drug costs.

The survey comes as some congressional Republicans have come out against the move, joining the pharmaceutical companies, saying the reduced prices will damage competition and discourage innovation of new products.

Only 19 percent of Americans said they think Medicare negotiation would damage innovation or market competition, including 39 percent of Republicans.

Respondents vastly agreed that drug pricing requires major reform, with 90 percent concurring that improvements are needed instead of keeping with the status quo, including 96 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans.