AARP New Jersey and Senator Booker Speak Out About Need for Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Four Million Americans, Including Nearly 130,000 New Jersey Residents, Signed AARP Petition Calling on Congress to Act
TRENTON, NJ (March 16, 2022) — AARP New Jersey delivered a petition signed by nearly 130,000 New Jersey residents to Senator Booker and Senator Menendez today calling for Congress to act now and stop unfair drug prices. More than two out of three New Jersey voters 50 and older are concerned they won’t be able to afford the medicines they need in the future; yet, prescription drug prices continue to rise faster than inflation.
AARP has called 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 is indefensible that in the wealthiest nation on the planet, Americans have to choose between putting food on the table or other basic necessities and purchasing life-saving medication,” said Sen. Booker. “Access to affordable medications is often a matter of life-or-death and it must be addressed with a comprehensive plan to lower prescription drug prices. It is overdue for Congress to enact systemic change that looks out for patients, not profits. In 2020, I was proud to introduce the Prescription Drug Affordability and Access Act which would create an independent agency to review current drug prices and determine more appropriate list prices. In addition, I have also supported the Empowering Seniors Act which would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and cap prescription drug cost sharing. As we continue to work towards these essential reforms, I am grateful to AARP New Jersey for their continued advocacy on this important issue.”
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.
“Right now, our Senators have a historic opportunity to lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate,” said Pat Schreiber, a New Jersey resident and AARP New Jersey volunteer. “The prescription costs for myself and my husband are outrageous. If nothing changes, my only option is to stop treatment. I just can’t afford my medication. No one should have to make this choice. If the Senate does not act, it will be at the cost of older Americans and taxpayers.”
“Americans are fed up with paying three times what people in other countries pay for the same drugs,” said AARP New Jersey State Director Stephanie Hunsinger. “More than four million people across the country, including nearly 130,000 residents here in New Jersey, are joining AARP to demand lower prices for prescription drugs. Now it’s time for Congress to get it done.”
More information about AARP’s Fair Drug Prices campaign can be found at aarp.org/rx.
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About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media.