Annapolis, MD (April 20, 2022)-- AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg and Volunteer State President Jim Campbell are joining Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen in urging Congress to lower prescription drug prices.
Some 79,943 Marylanders have signed onto an AARP petition calling on Congress to act now.
AARP has advocated for fair drug prices for years and supports legislation that passed the House in November, which would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, put a cap on out-of-pocket costs that older adults pay for their prescription drugs and impose penalties on drug companies that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation.
“It’s time Congress take action to combat high and increasing prescription drug prices. There is no legitimate reason why so many prescription drugs cost so much, causing far too many Americans to need to choose between rent or groceries and life-saving drugs,” says Senator Cardin. “It’s unconscionable that drug companies are raking in record profits off of essential medications – and that those medications cost more here in the U.S. than overseas. The American people are counting on us to implement commonsense solutions to lower drug prices while continuing to promote innovation and invest in groundbreaking research and development.”
“Marylanders simply cannot afford the sky-high prices of prescription drugs and there is no reason they should have to pay over two times what patients in other countries pay for the same prescriptions,” says Senator Van Hollen. “It’s long past time we crack down on this price gouging by unlocking Medicare’s power to negotiate for lower drug prices, and I’ll keep fighting to get this done.”
“Americans are fed up with paying much more than people in other countries pay for the same drugs. More than 4 million people across the country, including almost 80,000 here in Maryland, are joining AARP to demand lower prices for prescription drugs," says Greenberg. “There will never be a better time to lower drug prices than the historic opportunity in front of Congress. Now it’s time to get it done!
"I have prescriptions for seven different medications, and I am supposed to take 17 pills per day to survive. It amazes me the amount of money I have to scrape up and spend just to stay healthy."
Lowering prescription drug prices has widespread support among voters, regardless of their party affiliation. An AARP survey of voters found that strong majorities of voters want Congress to act on the issue, with 70% saying it is very important. The survey also found that 87% of voters support allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.
Roselyn Hobson is a retired federal employee and resident of District Heights, who struggles to afford prescribed medications. “I have prescriptions for seven different medications, and I am supposed to take 17 pills per day to survive,” she says. “It amazes me the amount of money I have to scrape up and spend just to stay healthy. And I have a neighbor who takes only half of her daily medication. It is shameful that having worked for the U.S. Government for over 35 years, there is no help to continue living a meaningful life."
Hobson urges Cardin and Van Hollen to continue their fight to protect seniors: “Without medications, day-to-day existence is very hard. Seniors vote for you, our legislators, to protect us and help us live a useful life. There are so many times that we make a choice of not taking our medication until we feel bad. If the Senate does not act now, in some cases it will be at the cost of older Americans and taxpayers' lives.”
More information about AARP’s Fair Drug Prices campaign can be found at aarp.org/rx .
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org
or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.