AARP has launched a full-scale campaign, including a $4 million ad buy, pushing back on false claims from the pharmaceutical industry that reforms would limit Americans’ access to medicines. AARP has called for fair drug prices for years and is urging Congress to pass legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, put a cap on out-of-pocket costs that older adults pay for their prescription drugs and impose penalties on drug companies that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation.
AARP’s new ad points out that Americans’ tax dollars subsidize new drug development even as Big Pharma charges Americans dramatically higher drug prices. The ad goes on to urge Congress to “stop the Big Pharma scam. Let Medicare negotiate drug prices.” Beginning tomorrow, it will air nationally on MSNBC and CNN; and in the DC metro area on the Sunday political shows and local radio stations, as well as on digital platforms including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and Politico. In addition to paid advertising, AARP members will take part in a week of grassroots action beginning September 20. A social media campaign calling for older adults to #ShowYourReceipts has led thousands to share their monthly medication costs with AARP, with their monthly “bills” now running over $11 million.
“Americans are fed up with paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “Our 38 million members are watching, and they are counting on their members of Congress to do what’s right and vote to let Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices.”
Congress is currently debating measures to rein in the cost of prescription drugs, and the House Ways & Means Committee advanced legislation this week that includes many of AARP’s priorities on fair drug prices.
A recent AARP survey of voters found that 80% agreed or strongly agreed that drug prices could be lowered without harming innovation of new medicines. Strong majorities of voters, regardless of political affiliation, want Congress to act on the issue this year, with 70% saying it is very important. The survey also found that 87% of voters support allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. More information about AARP’s Fair Drug Prices campaign can be found at aarp.org/rx.