On March 12, AARP announced the launch of ‘ Stop Rx Greed,’ a nationwide campaign aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. The goal of AARP’s sustained campaign is to help drive down drug prices for Nebraskans and all Americans by advocating for a variety of legislative, executive, and regulatory actions at both the federal and state level.
“Tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nebraskans rely every day on prescription drugs to maintain their health and continue to live active and productive lives,” said Connie Benjamin, state director of AARP Nebraska. “Prescription drug prices in the U.S. are the highest in the world. As prices continue to soar, more and more families struggle to pay for the medicines they need every day. Many people are having to choose between medications and other needs like food, housing and utilities.”
As part of the campaign, AARP Research conducted a national survey of likely voters ages 50 and older. The survey found that significant majorities of self-identified Republican, Democrat, and independent voters shared concerns about the high price of drugs, and support common-sense policies that will lower prices. Survey findings include:
- 72 percent say they are concerned about the cost of their medications.
- 63 percent say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable.
- 90 percent support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
- 80 percent report taking at least one prescription medication.
- Nearly 40 percent say they did not fill a prescription provided by their doctor with cost being the most common reason.
“Drug cost increases are hitting older Americans especially hard. Skyrocketing drug prices are pushing lifesaving medicines out of reach for many who need them, including people suffering with cancer, asthma and diabetes,” Benjamin said. “No one should be forced to jeopardize their health because they can’t afford the proper medicine.”
The Stop Rx Greed campaign will include national television, radio and digital ads, editorial content, emails to members, social media posts, ongoing advocacy and grassroots activity in D.C. and the states, and a petition calling on Congress and the Administration to take action now. As part of the campaign, AARP will push for support of a number of policy solutions at the national and state level to help lower drug prices, including:
- Allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.
- Allowing states to negotiate lower prices with drug companies.
- Giving state Attorneys General authority to crack down on outrageous price increases.
- Clamping down on pay-for-delay and other loopholes that keep lower cost generic drugs off the market.
- Capping consumers’ prescription drug out-of-pocket costs.
- Preserving state pharmacy assistance programs.
- Increased transparency for prescription drug pricing. Nebraska state lawmakers are considering LB567, The Prescription Drug Cost Transparency Act. The bill would require drug companies to notify insurance companies, health providers and others at least 60 days in advance when the wholesale cost of a drug is scheduled to increase more than 16 percent.
For more about Stop Rx Greed, visit www.aarp.org/rx.