AARP AARP States North Dakota Advocacy

Sick of high drug prices?

Prescription pills with money

Americans are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

A recent AARP Price Watch reports that show brand-name drug price increases continue to outpace inflation. The latest AARP report found that in 2020, prices for 260 commonly used medications AARP has been tracking since 2006 increased 2.9% while the general rate of inflation was 1.3%.

The average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 26.3% between 2015 and 2019, while the annual income for North Dakota residents only increased 12.7%

As part of its Fair Drug Prices campaign, AARP has asked older adults to share their prescription drug receipts in an effort to show lawmakers the toll that persistently high prices are taking on them. Read three stories that illustrate the difficulties individuals face affording their needed medications.

During the 2021 legislative session, AARP ND fought to make the cost of prescription drugs more affordable for North Dakotans. Two new laws were passed that are first steps in tackling the high cost of prescription drugs. Both took effect Aug. 1.

The first, House Bill 1032 – prescription drug cost transparency legislation –requires drug manufacturers to report the reasons behind high costs and price hikes.  When a proposed price increase exceeds 10% over one year or 40% over five years, drug makers will be required to report and provide justification for the increases. Transparency laws provide consumers with warning of increases in their drug costs, but it’s just a first step to lower prescription drug prices here in North Dakota.

The second piece of legislation – Senate Bill 2212 – establishes a mandatory study of prescription drug prices and possible solutions. The interim Health Care committee is in the process of conducting the study, including proposals related to international reference pricing.

Three ways you can get involved

  1. Follow the prescription drug cost study being conducted by the N.D. Legislature’s interim  Health Care Committee. They held a meeting in December with another expected in February. We'll keep you posted when we know more. You can attend meetings in person or watch online at video.legis.nd.gov.
  2. Join the AARP North Dakota Advocacy Team. This diverse group of volunteers works alongside staff to educate and advocate for issues that are important to our members. Advocacy Team members can volunteer for a number of different efforts such as visit local, state and federally elected officials to discuss the benefits of legislation or policies; write letters to the editor; participate and track issues during the legislative session; and train other members to participate in the process.
  3. #ShowYourReceipts AARP is gathering data* and stories on prescription drug costs so that we can deliver an invoice with the total monthly prescription costs to our legislature. If you pay outrageously high prices for the medications you take, show your elected leaders the price tag. Don’t have a receipt? That's ok, tell your story anyway. Your receipts, photos, videos, and stories will remind lawmakers that their constituents are fed up with big drug companies price gouging them.

    No one should have to choose between putting food on the table and filling a prescription.

If you are interested in getting involved and/or sharing your story, please email Janelle Moos, Associate State Director of Advocacy at jmoos@aarp.org or call 701-355-3641.

*Your data won’t be shared outside of this campaign effort.

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