Rx AARP Health Care Reform Priorities Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Fact Sheet Final

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Rx AARP Health Care Reform Priorities Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Fact Sheet Final

  1. 1. AARP Health Reform Priorities Lowering Prescription Drug Prices “My husband and I live with our youngest son and his family - partly due to finances, our advancing age, and the need of some "watch care." We have Medicare Part D, but now I am in the "donut hole". My medications now cost over $300 a month, and when I need to refill the two insulin prescriptions I use, it costs another $200+. We will be dependant on our children to make up the difference between what we can pay--about $1900 a month Social Security, and hope that neither of us will need any more medications. Our children are raising young families, as are our married grandchildren, but they will help us as they can. I would rather stop the medications and let nature take its course rather than cause such problems. They are all concerned about us, but also concerned about their own expenses which are skyrocketing just like everyone else’s.” Shari F., Virginia Older Americans use prescription drugs more than any other group. As a result, they bear the brunt of skyrocketing drug costs. But high drug prices are a problem for everyone, and the evidence is overwhelming that we should address this problem now: • AARP’s latest Rx Watchdog report found that manufacturer prices for widely used brand name prescription drugs increased, on average, by 8.7 percent in 2008, more than twice the rate of inflation. • Manufacturer prices for widely used specialty drugs, drugs that are used to treat complex, chronic conditions and require special administration, handling, and patient care, rose even faster—at an average rate of 9.3 percent in 2008. • Increasingly, lower-priced generic drugs aren’t always getting to the market quickly because some manufacturers of popular brand name drugs have been paying manufacturers of generics to delay putting the generic version on the market. This means that consumers, health plans, and taxpayers are forced to pay more for higher prices for brand-name drugs. • There is no regulatory path for approval of safe, affordable biologic generics. These are medications made from living organisms that are used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious diseases. Biologic drugs often cost 10, 15, or 20 times more than most non-biologic drugs. Join the movement at www.HealthActionNow.org Tell Congress that the time for health reform is NOW!

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