AARP New Mexico officials recently met with representatives from the offices of Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan to highlight the urgent need for Congress to address the high cost of prescription drugs. Both Senators reaffirmed their commitment to working toward lowering drug costs, indicting it is a high priority for them.
AARP New Mexico also virtually delivered a petition to the Senators signed by 31,499 New Mexicans calling for Congress to act now and stop unfair drug prices.
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.
“AARP New Mexico is pleased that both Senators are committed to finding a solution to high drug costs and doing so is a priority for them,” said Joseph P. Sanchez, AARP New Mexico State Director. “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.”
Sen. Lujan said, “It is long overdue that Congress curb skyrocketing drug prices for New Mexicans. is intolerable that one in three adults do not take their medication because it is too expensive. We must allow Medicare to directly negotiate for lower prices to help the estimated five million Medicare beneficiaries who struggle to access the medications they need. I’m proud to have AARP New Mexico and Senator Heinrich as partners in the fight to lower costs for our state.”
Sen. Heinrich agreed saying allowing Medicare to negotiate is key to stop outrageously high drug prices.
“New Mexicans shouldn’t have to choose between paying for their medications and paying for other necessities like food and rent. Medicare needs to have the power to negotiate drug prices if we are ever going to rein in unfair out-of-pocket costs for older adults. I appreciate AARP and its members being at the heart of this fight and I stand with them,” Heinrich said.
In New Mexico, the average annual cost of prescription drugs increased 26.3 percent between 2015 and 2019, while the annual income for New Mexico residents only increased 7.8 percent.