Millions of Americans rely every day on prescription drugs to maintain their health. AARP believes it’s unfair that we pay the highest prices in the world and that many older adults have to choose between filling their prescriptions and buying food. AARP says the president, Congress and state governments must Stop Rx Greed and Cut Drug Prices Now.
Negotiate Medicare prescription prices
Prescription drug spending is one of the fastest-growing components of Medicare. Every year the program spends more than $129 billion on prescription medicines. Unlike private insurance plans, Medicare is prohibited by law from negotiating lower prices with drug companies, and U.S. consumers often pay more than twice as much for the same brand-name drugs as patients in similar countries. According to a recent analysis, Medicare could have saved $14.4 billion on just 50 drugs in 2016 if the program had paid the same prices as the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is allowed to bargain for discounts.
AARP urges Congress to pass legislation that would allow Medicare to use its enormous buying power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.
Buy in bulk
Some states have begun buying prescription drugs in bulk for some residents, including Medicaid beneficiaries, state employees and retirees, and prisoners. And some states are joining with each other to create even larger buying pools as a way to bring down the high cost of medicines.
AARP urges states to use their buying power to negotiate lower drug prices.
Block excessive price increases
Legislatures in at least 16 states have introduced bills that would give the state attorney general the authority to take legal action against drug manufacturers for excessive drug price increases.
AARP urges states to continue to fight for the authority to crack down on outrageous prices increases.