In an article published Tuesday in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), journalist Dena Bunis has shared stories of a few patients who are greatly affected by high prescription drug prices.
AARP, a group that focuses on issues affecting those over the age of 50, has constantly been fighting to convince Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs with manufacturers.
The group is also fighting with policymakers to reduce annual out-of-pocket costs for medicine and punish drugmakers who are increasing drug prices.
Bunis, who covers Medicare, health care, health policy, and Congress stories, shared the experience of patients who are enrolled in Medicare.
For instance, she wrote about a person named Vincent Burns who has spent about $40,000 on life-saving drugs to treat his cancer, spending all his savings. Similarly, Patricia Munn is spending a lot on her two insulin shots that she has to take every day to control her diabetes, while William McMichael has been spending more on his blood thinners.
The stories of these patients are mentioned on the AARP’s official website. All of them are facing high prescription drug costs and have been struggling to afford the drugs.
A recent AARP survey has found that 87% of people above 50 want Medicare to negotiate high prescription drug prices. Also, a new Gallup poll has found that more than 18 million Americans said they were unable to afford at least one prescription drug due to high price.
AARP introduced a Fair Drug Prices campaign through which it has asked older individuals to share their prescription drug receipts so the group can show policymakers the amount people are paying for their prescriptions.
Americans need generic drugs now. High prescription drug prices have been taking a great toll on people’s health to an extent where most Americans fail to refill their prescriptions.
Recently, a Utah-based news outlet revealed that most residents in the state are putting their health at risk by not refilling their prescriptions due to the rising cost of prescription drugs.
Another Gallup survey found that nearly 23% of people said they could not afford to fill a prescription drug at least once in the past 12 months.
Leigh Purvis, Director of Health Services Research at AARP said, “The reality is prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. And, we are reaching kind of those tipping points where people are having to choose between the prescription drugs they need to stay healthy and other important things, like food and rent, and that’s not really a decision that anyone should have to make.”