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AARP Endorses Bipartisan Bill to Slow Skyrocketing Drug Prices


March 28, 2011


Media Relations


AARP Endorses Bipartisan Bill to Slow Skyrocketing Drug Prices

Snowe-Stabenow legislation would allow for safe, legal importation of drugs from abroad

WASHINGTON—AARP today announced its endorsement of the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act (S. 319), a bipartisan bill to allow for the safe and legal importation of lower cost prescription drugs from abroad.  The legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would give consumers access to safe prescription drugs at lower prices.  In 2009, retail prices for commonly used brand name drugs climbed an average of 8.3 percent, far outpacing general inflation.  Earlier today, AARP’s Public Policy Institute released new research that found even larger price spikes among popular brand name drugs as they neared the end of their patents, which protect them from competition against lower cost generic versions.

“Too many older Americans face the impossible decision of paying their skyrocketing pharmacy bills or buying other necessities,” said AARP Senior Vice President David Sloane.  “Access to lower cost prescription drugs is a top priority for our members.  Safe and legal importation is a needed step—with strong support on both sides of the aisle—to bring down the soaring costs of prescription drugs for every American.”

In a letter to Sens. Snowe and Stabenow, Sloane noted their bill’s critical safety mechanisms, including provisions to prevent counterfeiting and ensure legally imported drugs are properly inspected.  The bill would also empower states to prevent the drug industry from cutting off supplies of lower priced drugs from abroad.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that similar legislation introduced last Congress would save taxpayers $19.4 billion.

AARP’s latest Rx Price Watch Report, which highlights price increases among drugs losing their patent protection, is available at

For a complete copy of AARP’s letter to the Senators, please contact AARP Media Relations at 202-434-2560 or

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website,  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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