En español | WASHINGTON—AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement today, applauding the Senate Finance Committee’s 19-9 bipartisan vote in favor of the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019:
“AARP thanks Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Ron Wyden and the 17 other senators who, today, voted for the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act. We commend the Senate Finance Committee for its strong bipartisan work to help seniors and all Americans, who pay the highest drug prices in the world.
“The time is now for legislation to reduce drug prices. Today’s vote is a crucial first step leading up to full Senate action. AARP is deeply committed to winning this fight on behalf of our members and all Americans. We stand with senators who are committed to lowering drug prices and are working to advance this important bill.
“High drug prices disproportionately hurt older Americans, particularly Medicare Part D enrollees who take an average of 4.5 prescription medications each month. Most Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes, with an average annual income of just over $26,000. The average annual price for a single specialty drug used on a chronic basis is now an astounding $79,000. Medications are simply not affordable when their prices exceed a person’s annual income. Importantly the bill includes an out-of-pocket cap on prescription drugs for seniors in Medicare Part D and cracks down on drugmakers that raise prices higher than the rate of inflation. AARP also supported an amendment offered in committee to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, but that amendment was not adopted.
“On behalf of our 38 million members, AARP thanks Chairman Grassley of Iowa, Ranking Member Wyden of Oregon, Sen. Bennet of Colorado, Sen. Brown of Ohio, Sen. Cantwell of Washington, Sen. Cardin of Maryland, Sen. Carper of Delaware, Sen. Casey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Cassidy of Louisiana, Sen. Cornyn of Texas, Sen. Cortez Masto of Nevada, Sen. Daines of Montana, Sen. Hassan of New Hampshire, Sen. Menendez of New Jersey, Sen. Portman of Ohio, Sen. Stabenow of Michigan, Sen. Warner of Virginia, Sen. Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Sen. Young of Indiana.”
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
Media Contact: Greg Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-434-2560, @AARPMedia