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Tell the State Senate to Work for Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Posted on 03/20/19 by Melanie Rodriguez, AARP Blog Author

Dear Floridian:

Tell the state Senate to work for lower prescription drug costs.

No drug can help you if you can’t afford it.

Prescription drugs can be a huge help for people age 50-plus. Many of us need those medicines to stay healthy and active.

But costs are spiraling out of control. An AARP report last year showed drug prices are rising four times faster than overall inflation – and your Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is trailing even further behind.

For years, elected officials did nothing as prescription-drug prices rose at double-digit rates..

Florida lawmakers are now considering legislation that could save us money both as taxpayers and consumers.  It would allow Florida government agencies and also ordinary citizens access to safe, FDA-approved prescription medications at a lower cost.

Congress also is signaling a willingness to take bipartisan action to bring down costs of prescription drugs.

AARP Florida: Why are we paying more than in other countries?   

An Epi-pen, used to treat severe allergic reactions, can cost $646 at WalMart in Florida and $120 in Canada. The drug Lyrica, used for brain and nervous-system disorders, costs nearly ten times as much in the U.S. as in Canada ($6.04 to 63 cents). Savings are even higher for drugs made in other countries.

Drug manufacturers are warning lawmakers that the safety of drugs imported from overseas can’t be trusted.

But most of the drugs Americans take, or the ingredients for them, are made overseas. The website Pharmacychecker.com found in 2018 that 70 percent of the top-selling brand-name prescription drugs sold in the U.S. are manufactured overseas. The FDA testified to Congress in 2011 that some 40 percent of finished prescription drugs and 80 percent of drug ingredients used in U.S. drug manufacture come from overseas.

Drug companies: Putting their profits ahead of your health

Drug companies are happy to benefit from lower costs overseas. They just don’t want you to do the same. They’re putting their profits ahead of your health.

Legislation to lower prescription drug costs is moving in the Florida House.  The next test could be in the state Senate.

Call your Florida state senator now and urge him or her to pass legislation that would lower the cost of prescription drugs.  We’ve waited long enough.  Now is the time to bring drug prices down.

Sincerely,

Jeff Johnson
AARP Florida

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