North Carolinians ages 50 and above are the state’s most powerful voting bloc and it is important that we stay that way.
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As we wind our way closer to Election Day, older voters in the state want to know where the candidates stand on the issues most important to them. A big concern today is the high cost of prescription drugs. The next Congress has a chance at helping improve our health without draining our savings by lowering the cost of the medicines our doctors prescribe.
AARP is calling on Congress to protect seniors and all taxpayers from price gouging by big drug companies. There is no reason Americans should continue to pay among the highest prescription drug prices in the world. Last year AARP successfully kept drug company lobbyists from breaking a deal to close the Medicare Part D doughnut hole a year early, which would lower drug costs for seniors. AARP also supports the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, which would prevent pharmaceutical firms from delaying entry of affordable generic drugs in the marketplace.
The simple answer to why drug prices are so expensive is because no one is stopping pharmaceutical companies from charging such high prices. The United States allows drugmakers to set their own prices with no transparency. And pharmaceutical firms, which spend billions of dollars on marketing and lobbying, are publicly owned and concerned about their bottom lines. They often focus on drugs that will bring in the most profit, and drug companies are among the most profitable public businesses in America.
Other contributing factors include pharmaceutical companies extending patents so they have longer monopolies, doctors writing prescriptions for medicines familiar to them — thanks to the concerted marketing by drugmakers to health care professionals — and the inability of Medicare to negotiate prices.
Skyrocketing prices are pushing important prescription drugs out of reach for the older Americans who need them. People with cancer, asthma and diabetes are having trouble affording life-saving medications. In addition, costly prescription drugs could lead to higher health insurance premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing for all Americans. High prices also increase costs for taxpayer-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This translates into higher taxes and cuts to public programs that affect all Americans.
AARP Guiding Principles
As you consider candidates, keep in mind AARP’s guiding principles on prescription drug prices:
The post Do the candidates you support want to help lower prescription drug costs? appeared first on AARP States.
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