LANSING, MI—AARP Michigan State Director Paula D. Cunningham issued the following statement today, applauding Sen. Debbie Stabenow for voting in favor of the Senate Finance Committee’s Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019:
“AARP Michigan thanks Sen. Stabenow for voting for the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act today in committee. We commend the Senate Finance Committee for its strong bipartisan work to help seniors and all Americans, who pay the highest drug prices in the world.
“The time is now for legislation to rein in drug prices. Today’s vote is a crucial first step leading up to full Senate action. AARP Michigan is deeply committed to winning this fight on behalf of our members and all Americans. We stand with senators who are committed to lowering drug prices and are working to advance this important bill.
“High drug prices disproportionately hurt older Americans, particularly Medicare Part D enrollees who take an average of 4.5 prescription medications each month. Most Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes, with an average annual income of just over $26,000. The average annual price for a single specialty drug used on a chronic basis is now an astounding $79,000. Medications are simply not affordable when their prices exceed a person’s annual income. Importantly the bill includes an out-of-pocket cap on prescription drugs for seniors in Medicare Part D and cracks down on drugmakers that raise prices higher than the rate of inflation. AARP also supported an amendment offered in committee to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, but that amendment was not adopted.
“On behalf of our 1.4 million members, AARP Michigan thanks Sen. Stabenow and the 18 other senators on the Senate Finance Committee who voted for the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019.”