President Donald Trump’s call for disclosing drug prices in direct-to-consumer ads has broad support among the public, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Three-quarters of Americans favor the idea of putting list prices in drug advertisements, a number that holds steady across political affiliations. Eighty-three percent of Democrats, 73% of independents, and 72% of Republicans agree with the proposal, according to the survey.
Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed the idea, along with other measures intended to lower drug prices, in a blueprint released in May. Later that month, five senators sent letters to eight pharma companies asking them to voluntarily disclose drug prices in ads.
About 70% of people reported seeing or hearing a drug ad in the past 12 months and 14% spoke to their doctor about a specific drug. Once those patients spoke to their doctor, 55% were prescribed the drug they saw in the ad and slightly fewer than half (48%) said they talked to their doctor about the cost of the drug.
Other actions doctors took after talking to a patient about a specific drug ad included recommending another prescription drug, behavior and lifestyle changes, or an over-the-counter drug.
Drug companies collectively spent $6.1 billion on direct-to-consumer ads last year, a 4.6% dip from 2016, according to Kantar Media. Many pharma companies cut their marketing budgets and invested less in digital and magazine marketing in 2017, while spending on TV ads jumped 6.7%.