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AARP: Hold Prescription Drug Industry Accountable For High Prices

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Nearly three-quarters of Americans over 50 worry about being able to afford prescription drugs for themselves and their families, according to an AARP survey.

The rising cost of prescription drugs also is increasing anxiety for the people who take them. That's why AARP has launched the "Stop Rx Greed" campaign, which is a nationwide effort to press Congress, the Trump administration and state officials to take action now to lower drug prices. 
Lupe Wissel, state director of AARP Idaho, says some Idahoans are having to choose between buying groceries or their prescriptions.

"We pay the highest price for prescription drugs," says Wissel. "That's worldwide. And that is not affordable, and it's really pricing many, especially the older population, out of being able to purchase the prescriptions that they need."

The focus of "Stop Rx Greed" is on the prescription drug industry, which Wissel says needs to stop deflecting blame and reduce prices. According to a national AARP survey, nearly three-quarters of Americans over 50 worry about being able to afford to fill prescriptions for themselves and their families.

Wissel suggests a few ways to reduce costs. Lawmakers could allow Medicare and states to use their buying power to negotiate lower prices, cap prices for seniors and remove a loophole that allows drug manufacturers to delay the development of lower-cost generic drugs. 

Wissel says solutions are bubbling up in Congress, and AARP is ready to support ideas that will help the most people.

"This is a bipartisan issue," says Wissel. "It is not a Republican issue, not a Democrat issue. It's a people issue, and one that should be of interest to everyone - not any side, but everyone. And I think that is happening now."

Wissel also applauds President Donald Trump's signing of an executive order this week that increases transparency of medical costs. She says transparency is key to reining in prices.