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AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins Talks About High Drug Prices Skip to content

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We Must Stop Rx Greed Now

Expensive prescription drugs are a problem for us all

Bottle of pills sitting on top of a one hundred dollar bill

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En español | In this era of intense partisanship, there is one issue on which politicians agree: Something must be done about the out-of-control increase in prices for prescription drugs.

The prices of these drugs are a high priority for AARP members and all Americans. Older Americans have seen their prescription drug prices soar. Even if you do not take prescription drugs frequently or at all, you see the result of rising prices in your health insurance premiums and deductibles — and your taxes.

Higher drug prices also affect public insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Spending for prescription drugs in those programs has increased dramatically over the years. These escalating costs eventually affect us all, even nonbeneficiaries, in the form of program cuts, higher state and federal taxes — a portion of which go to support those programs — or both.

Pharmaceutical companies like to blame others in the system and claim that higher prices are necessary for innovation. But the seven Big Pharma CEOs who testified before the Senate Finance Committee in February acknowledged that they spend at least as much on marketing, advertising and administration as they do on research and development. And they agreed that the U.S. pays among the highest brand-name prices in the world. It’s time for drug companies to stop blaming others and admit that the root cause of the problem is the prices they set for their products.

Consumers’ out-of-pocket medication costs are often based on a drug’s list price. With deductibles for employer coverage now averaging more than $1,500, and coinsurance charges increasing, higher list prices mean higher out-of-pocket costs for all of us.

Stop Rx Greed Cut Drug Prices Now

AARP launched our Stop Rx Greed campaign to help lower prescription drug prices by advocating for policy solutions at both the federal and state levels. Our campaign includes national television, radio and digital ads; editorial content; emails to members; social media posts; advocacy and grassroots activity in Washington and the states; and a petition calling on Congress and the administration to act now.

With this campaign, AARP is doubling down on our 60-year commitment to fight for commonsense solutions to reduce out-of-control drug prices.

A lot can be done to reduce the price of prescription drugs. We will continue working with the administration and Congress to drive changes that result in lower prices for prescription drugs. AARP recognizes that we all need and value the products that pharmaceutical companies develop, but we also need them to be affordable. Drug companies have gotten away with running up the prices of their drugs for too long. It’s time to Stop Rx Greed. The time to act is now.

To learn more about Stop Rx Greed, visit aarp.org/rx.

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