Today, AARP released the following statement from Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond. The statement is in response to seven drug company executives’ testimonies given at the Senate Finance Committee hearing, “Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II.”

“The pharmaceutical industry refused today to take responsibility for out of control drug prices and the harm it is causing older Americans, patients, and family caregivers. Americans continue to pay the highest brand-name drug prices in the world, and prescription drugs cannot work if people cannot afford them. Too many Americans are being forced to choose between paying for the medicines they need to stay healthy and paying for food or rent.

“We were heartened by today’s hearing, in which both sides raised important questions about companies’ profits, advertising and pricing practices. AARP reiterates our call for action on policy solutions that actually lower drug prices instead of simply shifting costs around within the health care system. To do that, we must deal directly with the root cause of high drug prices: price gouging by drug companies.

“We are eager to work with the President and Congressional leaders from both parties to enact meaningful bipartisan policies to help lower drug prices and their related costs.”