By Brian Burgess | The Capitolist

Recent efforts by President Donald Trump to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare have garnered widespread support, but voters still want the president to go further by allowing pharmaceutical companies to provide copay assistance.

Last month, Trump signed four Executive Orders on drug pricing designed to deliver lower costs on prescription drugs, including insulin and epinephrine, and ensure Americans are getting the lowest price possible for their drugs.

But a new poll released this week shows that more than 77% of Florida voters, regardless of party, believe President Trump should also allow drug companies to provide financial help to seniors through private copay coupons to those on Medicare, reducing what seniors pay at the pharmacy. The poll was conducted by Floridians for Attainable and Innovative Rx (FAIRx). The group is a physician-led coalition that supports state policies that make insurance coverage, coinsurance and copays more transparent and equitable.

“COVID-19 has imposed significant financial hardships on seniors and their families, and those challenges are made worse without out-of-pocket limits for the prescription drugs they rely on to lead healthy lives,” said Eric Goldsmith, President of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA) and the founding member of FAIRx. “If pharmaceutical companies are allowed to provide copay coupons to Medicare recipients, senior citizens could better afford the important medications they need to stay healthy and out of hospitals. It’s clear from this poll that Florida voters support President Trump reducing the financial burden for seniors’ prescription medications.”

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 77% of Florida voters agree that President Trump should allow seniors on Medicare to use coupons from pharmaceutical companies to better afford their prescription drugs.
  • There is broad bipartisan support for allowing drug companies to offer Medicare copay cards, with 78% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats, and 77% of independents supporting such a move.

Because COVID-19 is especially dangerous for the elder population, the federal government is waiving copays for doctor visits by seniors on Medicare when they use telehealth services. The use of copay coupon cards for seniors would apply the same logic to prescription drugs, making it easier during the crisis for seniors to stay healthy and have a better chance of avoiding hospitalization.