Gov. Ron DeSantis Receives AARP Rx Price Fighter Award For His Fight to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Posted on 01/29/20 by Dave Bruns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 29, 2020

Contact: David Bruns
dbruns@aarp.org or 850-228-2759

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Jeff Johnson

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Ron DeSantis accepted a top AARP award Wednesday recognizing him as a national leader in the fight to lower prescription drug costs, a major issue faced by Floridians of all ages.

“Americans pay the highest prescription-drug prices in the world. It doesn’t have to be that way,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida state director. “We want to recognize Gov. Ron DeSantis for his leadership in pushing for an innovative solution – allowing states to import prescription drugs from places where costs are much lower.”

“Without the governor’s leadership, Florida would not be poised to create a drug importation initiative that could help many older Floridians get safe, FDA-approved drugs they need at costs they can afford,” Johnson said.

According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, last year, retail prices for 267 brand name prescription drugs widely used by older adults increased by an average of 5.8 percent – more than double the rate of general inflation. “We’ve seen these kinds of price increases year after year for at least the last decade,” Johnson said.

In accepting the award, Gov. DeSantis said he recognized that the high cost of safe, FDA-approved prescription drugs is a struggle for many Floridians. The governor also credited President Trump for personally advocating for federal permission to implement the legislation.

In late 2019, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that HHS was moving forward with approval of the Florida drug-importation initiative. First to be implemented will be a program that allows state agencies to import prescription drugs from Canada, resulting in significant cost savings for taxpayers. If HHS approves, the Florida legislation adopted in 2019 also allows importation of lower-cost, FDA-approved prescription drugs from other countries for sale to the public by local pharmacies and pharmacists.

A total of 25 states passed laws this year to help crackdown on price gouging and the anti-competitive practices that keep prescription drug prices artificially high. A full list can be found at aarp.org/rx.

A list of AARP’s 2019 Rx Price Fighters and the legislation they championed can be found here.

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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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