AARP pressing Congress to lower drug prices

AARP pressing Congress to lower drug prices
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AARP is ramping up pressure on Congress, launching a digital ad campaign on Monday to call on lawmakers to lower prescription drug prices. 

The seven-figure ad campaign will focus on the Washington, D.C., area, appearing in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico and Axios through July 30. 

The ad blitz comes as Democrats are aiming to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices through a measure in the upcoming reconciliation package, saying it will help with funding other initiatives.

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AARP cited its June survey as the reasoning for pressuring Congress to prioritize drug cost reduction. A majority of the 1,000 adults over 50 years old in that poll said they were at least somewhat concerned that they will not be able to pay for prescription drugs over the next few years for themselves or their families.  

The group had also pushed for legislation to give Medicare negotiating power in a previous advertising effort in late May and early June across 10 congressional districts in Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. 

Digital ads, including banners, also appeared in publications for two weeks ending on June 9. 

Democrats have argued that permitting Medicare to regulate prices could release funding for other health care priorities, including expanding Medicare coverage for hearing, vision and dental access. The Congressional Budget Office said the move could save the government hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years. 

“These and other reforms would make a huge difference in the lives of Americans over the age of 50, who have been paying far too much for too long,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy & engagement officer, said in a statement after the June survey. 

Drugmakers and Republicans have strongly rallied against Medicare drug price negotiation, saying it would inhibit innovation and research into new drugs and treatments.