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AARP Launches ‘Stop Rx Greed’ Campaign Targeting High Prescription Drug Prices

Posted on 03/13/19 by Dina Anderson, AARP Blog Author

New Campaign Focuses on Federal and State Solutions to Cut Drug Prices Now

Today, AARP announced the launch of ‘Stop Rx Greed,’ a nationwide campaign aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. The goal of AARP’s sustained campaign is to help drive down drug prices for Illinois residents and all Americans by advocating for a variety of legislative, executive, and regulatory actions at both the federal and state level.

“Residents in Illinois have told us that the high cost of prescription drugs is forcing them to scale back on other important expenditures, sometimes even basic food and housing expenses,” said Bob Gallo, Illinois State Director. “It is time to find solutions at every level to make sure that people who are sick, vulnerable or struggling don’t have to make these heartbreaking – and harmful – decisions impacting their well-being.”

As part of the campaign, AARP Research conducted a national survey of likely voters ages 50 and older. The survey found that significant majorities of self-identified Republican, Democrat, and independent voters shared concerns about the high price of drugs, and support common-sense policies that will lower prices.

Survey findings include:

  • 72 percent say they are concerned about the cost of their medications.
  • 63 percent say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable.
  • 90 percent support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
  • 80 percent report taking at least one prescription medication.
  • Nearly 40 percent say they did not fill a prescription provided by their doctor with cost being the most common reason.

“AARP is deeply troubled by what our members have told us about how high drug costs are impacting them,” Gallo said. “We are committed to advocating on behalf of our members so they no longer have to worry about filling a prescription that would improve their health just because of its price tag.”

The Stop Rx Greed campaign will include national television, radio and digital ads, editorial content, emails to members, social media posts, ongoing advocacy and grassroots activity in D.C. and the states, and a petition calling on Congress and the Administration to take action now. As part of the campaign, AARP will push for support of a number of policy solutions at the national and state level to help lower drug prices, including:

  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.
  • Allowing states to negotiate lower prices with drug companies.
  • Giving state Attorneys General authority to crack down on outrageous price increases.
  • Clamping down on pay-for-delay and other loopholes that keep lower cost generic drugs off the market.
  • Capping consumers’ prescription drug out-of-pocket costs.
  • Preserving state pharmacy assistance programs.
  • In Illinois, AARP supports House Bill 1441, which requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to establish an importation program where the State is the licensed wholesaler of imported drugs from licensed, regulated Canadian suppliers.
  • AARP Illinois also supports House Bill 53, which requires manufacturers of prescription drugs to notify within 60 days health insurers, the General Assembly and pharmacy benefit managers their intention to increase prices by 10 % or 25% of brand name or generic prescription drugs.
  • HB 53 also establishes a $1000 per day fine for violations of the above requirement.

For More information about Stop Rx Greed, visit www.aarp.org/rx

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About AARP
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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