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AARP Shows Impact of Skyrocketing Drug Prices with New Data and Infographic

Posted on 08/21/19


CHICAGO—AARP today released new data and an infographic illustrating the impact of high prescription drug prices on Americans, specifically people 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.

“It’s despicable that nearly one-third of Americans have to choose between filling life-saving medications or paying rent and buying food,” said Elaine Ryan, AARP Vice President of State Advocacy and Strategy Integration. “AARP is deeply committed to winning the fight against skyrocketing drug prices on behalf of our 38 million members and all Americans. We strongly urge Congress and state legislatures to continue taking meaningful action on this crisis now.”

In 2016, 28% of Americans stopped taking a prescription drug as prescribed due to cost, according to the State Health Access Data Assistance Center and as shown in the infographic. The infographic also highlights recent price increases for three 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 the U.S., 29,406,647 people are living with cancer, according to an AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) analysis using 2017 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
  • Lantus, a form of insulin used to treat diabetes, increased from $2,907 per year to $4,702 per year. There are 32,540,613 people with diabetes in the U.S. (PPI).
  • Aggrenox, a heart disease medication, increased from $3,030 per year to $5,930 per year. In the U.S., 10,270,683 people have heart disease (PPI).

To view the national infographic, as well as learn more about AARP’s Stop Rx Greed campaign, visit To view infographics state by state, visit

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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 or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Media Contact: Greg Phillips,, 202-434-2560, @AARPMedia

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