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AARP Launches Campaign Urging Senators to Support Medicare Negotiation to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Pharmacist serving customer in pharmacy

AARP has launched a three-week television and radio advertising campaign urging U.S. Senators to support allowing Medicare to use its power to negotiate drug prices with drug manufacturers. The seven-figure investment highlights negotiation as a critical step toward lowering prescription drug costs for all Americans, especially seniors who on average take between four and five medications each month and have a median annual income of just over $26,000.

“Pennsylvanians are sick and tired of paying three times what people in other countries pay for the same medicine,” said Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director. “People shouldn't have to choose between buying medicine and paying for food or rent. It's time for Congress to fix the unfair system that is rigged against Americans.”

The seven-figure national television and digital ad campaign will run on CNN, MSNBC, YouTube TV, over-the-top TV, and connected television, including Roku, Hulu, and other high-premium video placements. Ads running in Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will have additional coverage on MSNBC and CNN. The radio ads will air on African American/Black stations in Delaware and the Hispanic/Latino stations in New Jersey.

In addition to advertising, AARP's campaign includes grassroots, tele-townhalls with elected officials, social media, coverage in AARP publications that reach nearly 38 million members, and testimonials from Americans who are struggling to afford their drug costs. Corresponding efforts reaching Pennsylvania’s 1.8 million members and all older Pennsylvanians also includes tele-town halls with state elected officials, grassroots, and social media.

The campaign comes as Congress considers allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices through a measure in the upcoming budget resolution. The program spends $129 billion annually on prescription drugs for seniors, however Medicare Part D beneficiaries could save $117 billion over 10 years by allowing Medicare price negotiation.

A recent AARP survey shows that more than half (58%) of adults 50 and older are concerned they will not be able to afford prescription drugs over the next few years for themselves or their families. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed, across party lines, that it is important for the President and Congress to solve the problem this year, with 87% supporting allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. The successful negotiations with drug companies for the COVID-19 vaccine has made many voters more likely to agree that the government should negotiate lower prices for other drugs.

To view the television ad, click here.

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