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AARP: 21% of Marylanders Stopped Taking Medications Due to Cost

Posted on 08/23/19 by AARP Maryland

BALTIMORE—AARP Maryland today released new state data and an infographic illustrating the impact of high prescription drug prices for Maryland residents, specifically those living with cancer, prediabetes or diabetes, and heart disease. AARP unveiled the infographic at the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) annual conference as part of AARP’s nationwide Stop Rx Greed campaign to lower drug prices for all Americans.

“While prescription drug prices continue skyrocketing, Americans are being forced to choose between filling life-saving medications or paying rent and buying food,” said AARP Maryland State Director Hank Greenberg. “So far in 2019, 29 states have passed 46 new laws to rein in drug prices. It’s critical that state and federal lawmakers continue this momentum to stop Rx greed.”

In 2016, 21% of Marylanders stopped taking a prescription drug as prescribed due to cost, as shown in the infographic. The infographic also highlights recent price increases for select prescription drugs commonly used to treat cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Between 2012 and 2017, the retail price of:

· Revlimid, used to treat cancer, increased from $147,413 per year to $247,496 per year. In Maryland, 516,967 people are living with cancer.

· Lantus, a form of insulin used to treat diabetes, increased from $2,907 per year to $4,702 per year. There are 577,423 people with diabetes or pre-diabetes in Maryland.

· Aggrenox, a heart disease medication, increased from $3,030 per year to $5,930 per year. In Maryland, 154,533 people have heart disease.

rx-state-infographic-3-issues-maryland.png

On July 1, with AARP support, Maryland enacted a state prescription drug affordability board to monitor the cost of prescription drugs to county and local governments and make recommendations for price limits. The board is the first of its kind in the nation, and it establishes Maryland as a leader in the movement to contain skyrocketing drug prices. Ultimately, Greenberg noted, all levels of government have a part to play in making prescription drugs available and affordable to people, so federal action is equally essential.

To view the Maryland infographic, visit www.aarp.org/rxstates. To learn more about AARP’s Stop Rx Greed campaign and view the national infographic, visit www.aarp.org/rx.

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About AARP
With 875,000 members in Maryland, AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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