AARP Texas thanks Senator John Cornyn for voting this week in favor of a key bill designed to rein in drug prices. Passage by the Senate Finance Committee of the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 is a crucial first step leading up to full Senate action.
Cornyn joined 18 other senators on the committee in a bipartisan vote to advance the legislation. The bill includes an out-of-pocket cap on prescription drugs for seniors in Medicare Part D and cracks down on drugmakers that raise prices higher than the rate of inflation.
“AARP is deeply committed to winning this fight on behalf of our members and all Americans,” said Bob Jackson,” AARP Texas state director. “We stand with senators who are committed to lowering drug prices and are working to advance this important bill.”
High drug prices disproportionately hurt older Americans, particularly Medicare Part D enrollees who take an average of 4.5 prescription medications each month. Most Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes, with an average annual income of just over $26,000.
The average annual price for a single specialty drug used on a chronic basis is now an astounding $79,000. Medications are simply not affordable when their prices exceed a person’s annual income.
AARP also supported an amendment offered in committee to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, but that amendment was not adopted.