AARP Ad Buy Calls Out Senate on Medicare, Drug Prices

Just in time for the House Democrats’ three-day strategy confab beginning today in Philadelphia, AARP has made a seven-figure ad buy including television and digital advertising in the DC area, and television in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

For years, AARP has called for lower drug prices and is urging the Senate 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.

“Americans are sick and tired of Congress’ broken promises to bring down the price of prescription drugs,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, in a press release. “As Americans pay more and more for many consumer goods, Congress has an historic opportunity to lower drug prices and help seniors like Larry to afford their medications and other essentials.”

The new advertising features Larry Zarzecki, a retired law enforcement officer with Parkinson’s disease who was forced to sell his home in order to afford his medications. He first shared his story three years ago, but has seen no relief from the high costs of his treatment.

“I shouldn’t have to decide between my home or my medicine because Congress refuses to act. I’m tired of waiting for Congress,” he said in the ad.

Here’s a look at the 10 drugs Medicare spent the most money on in 2020 and whose prices increased in January 2022, according to AARP.

1. Eliquis

2. Revlimid

3. Xarelto

4. Januvia

5. Trulicity

6. Imbruvica

7. Jardiance

8. Humira (Cf) pen

9. Ibrance

10. Symbicort

AARP’s new data shows that in January 2022, the average list price increase for the 75 top brand-name drugs was 5.2 percent. Price hikes ranged from 2 percent to 7.9 percent, and the prices of more than half (42 of 75) increased by 5 percent or more.

In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden called for capping insulin prices at $35 a month for all Americans, as well as allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers — something that currently isn’t permitted.

“I know we have great disagreements on this floor with this — let’s let Medicare negotiate the price of prescription drugs,” Biden said in his speech to congressional lawmakers.

Biden will be speaking to the House Democrats on Friday.

The House of Representatives passed several prescription drug measures as part of the Build Back Better Act in November, but the Senate has yet to pass similar legislation.

2 Responses

  1. If you are not part of a plan to buy drugs and are buying drugs on the individual market get ready to pay large sums for medications. The system is not working for those who are not covered by a large plan.

  2. AARP lost all credibility when I got burned by their co-promoted Medicare “Advantage” plan with UHC. It was a rip-off and UHC lied in the sale, interpretation, etc.

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