After an AARP petition calling for lower prescription drug prices, U.S. senses Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii voiced support for a measure that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, according to a news release.
The AARP petition, which urges Congress to end unfair drug pricing, has generated more than 19,000 signatures from Hawaiian residents. It was given to Schatz and Hirono ahead of the Senate vote on a major drug reform bill.
Gary Simon, volunteer state chairman of AARP, said kupuna are tired of paying three times what people in other countries pay for the same drugs.
“Big Pharma makes billions while seniors and taxpayers get ripped off,” he said in the statement.
Simon added that the Senate now has a historic opportunity to drive down drug prices.
AARP, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to helping citizens 50 and older, supports legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, cap out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, and to impose sanctions on pharmaceutical companies that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation. .
The bill passed the US House in November and is now in the Senate.
Schatz said that over the past decade, the cost of prescription drugs has increased by more than a third.
“No one should have to choose between paying for the food they need, the rent they have to pay, or the medicine they need to stay healthy,” he said in the statement. “Let’s continue to work together to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and bring relief to adults across the state of Hawaii.”
Hirono said the cost of prescription drugs, such as insulin, has skyrocketed in recent years.
As a result, people in Hawaii and across the country are struggling to afford the medications they need. Hawaii residents are particularly affected because the state has higher rates of diabetes and other illnesses, she added.
“Very few people are able to afford the high costs charged by pharmaceutical companies. The same companies are raking in record profits,” Hirono said in the statement.
“Health is a right, not a privilege,” she said. “That’s why I work to ensure that everyone has access to the medicines they need to stay healthy.”
Lower prescription drug prices have broad support among voters regardless of party affiliation, according to AARP, which advocates lower prescription drug prices.
An AARP survey of voters found that strong majorities of voters want Congress to act on the issue, with 70% saying it’s very important. The survey also found that 87% of voters support Medicare negotiating prescription drug prices.
With nearly 32 million members, including approximately 145,000 in Hawaii, AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose their lifestyle. as they age.