Several prescription medications that older Americans commonly use are increasing in price in 2020. AARP reports that there are 460 prescription drugs that will increase an average of 5.2% in 2020, above the rate of inflation. Among these are Humira (arthritis), Lyrica (nerve and muscle pain), and Keytruda (cancer). Pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Biogen, Merck, Novartis, and Allergan are among those who have raised the costs of medications since January 1st.
In December, the House of Representatives passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The legislation would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of up to 250 of the most expensive drugs each calendar year. The bill would also cap Medicare recipients’ out-of-pocket costs for medicines at $2,000 a year. The Congressional Budget Office found that this legislation would save Medicare approximately $500 billion dollars. The bill has not been introduced in the Senate and has been threatened with a veto by the president should it pass the Senate.
With rising prescription drug costs continuing to be a top concern for older adults, AARP launched its “Stop Rx Greed” campaign in 2019 to take action in urging legislators to address the issues of prescription drug prices. Advocates can sign on to a letter to send to their senators and representatives to call on them to support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
To learn more about the fight to reduce prescription drug costs, visit: https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/prescription-drugs/