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AARP Focused on Passing Importation Without Unnecessary Roadblocks

Novelli: “Today, there are far too many difficult decisions before our leaders. This is not one of them.”

For Immediate Release

Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

An AARP campaign focusing on key U.S. Senate offices is underway in an effort to permit the safe and legal importation of lower-cost drugs from abroad. The Senate is expected to take several votes relating to importation on Monday, May 7. Leading up to those votes, AARP’s CEO Bill Novelli released the following statement:

“It is a national embarrassment that in a country with the most advanced medical system in the world, so many of our citizens, often on fixed incomes and with limited resources, can obtain affordable prescription drugs only by seeking them in foreign countries.

“Over the years there have been many importation proposals aimed at addressing this need, but the Dorgan-Snowe plan is the only one with the appropriate safety guarantees. As a result, it is the only importation proposal endorsed by AARP.

“Unfortunately, in a move designed to block the Dorgan-Snowe measure, language will be offered prohibiting importation of prescription drugs unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifies that it is safe to do so. This poison-pill ‘certification’ amendment is intended to do one thing: preserve the status quo and prevent Americans from having a safe and legal process for accessing lower-priced prescription drugs.

“A vote for ‘certification’ is a vote against safe and legal importation. As part of our ongoing accountability campaign, AARP will be recording Senators’ votes on both the Dorgan-Snowe and the certification amendments this Monday. We will inform our members about these votes, and how their Senators voted.

“The high cost of prescription drugs is a staggering problem and the American people expect real answers. Dorgan-Snowe addresses these problems head-on by putting safety first, and recent estimates indicate that their proposal will save American consumers over ten billion dollars.

“Today, there are far too many difficult decisions before our leaders. This is not one of them. On Monday, Senators can vote to ensure safety, save money and put downward pressure on drug prices here in the U.S. Or, Senators can put the profits of the pharmaceutical industry before the needs of their constituents by keeping drug prices high. This is a simple decision.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; 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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