Americans want government to negotiate for lower drug prices, AARP poll finds

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Most Americans support giving Medicare the power to bargain for lower prescription drug prices, according to a new AARP poll.

A total of 86% of Americans over the age of 18 are in favor of giving Medicare this authority, AARP said. The Senate in coming weeks will vote on repealing a ban that prevents the Department of Health and Human Services from negotiating with drug companies over Medicare Part D drug prices. Manufacturer prices for the most commonly prescribed drugs to people 50 and older increased by an average of 6.3% during the 12-month period ending in June, AARP said in September.

The latest poll, whose results were released this week, also found that 85% of voters felt drug prices were "too high." A total of 1,007 adults ages 18+ responded to the national AARP poll. More than a dozen states also were polled on the same questions, with similar results, AARP said.

To get a complete copy of the poll data, "Medicare Price Negotiation of
Prescription Drugs - A National Poll," send an e-mail request to nwood@aarp.org.