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Advocate for lower cost Prescription Drugs :)
Common Sense Solutions to the High Cost of Prescription Drugs :)
If you bump into a member of the state's Congressional delegation while you are out celebrating Independence Day, here's a suggested topic of conversation: the high cost of prescription drugs.
AARP is working in a number of ways to lower prescription drug costs through health reform. First, AARP is fighting to close the "doughnut hole" -- the place where Medicare Part D beneficiaries are responsible for all of their drug costs even while they are still paying their Part D premium. Millions of people have fallen into this hole (about 19,000 here in North Dakota) and are paying a heavy price for it. About one in five Part D beneficiaries delayed filling a prescription or did not fill it at all because of costs. AARP believes we must lower out-of-pocket costs for people in Medicare and give them the coverage they've been paying for.
AARP also believes we must end the drug companies' monopoly on drugs, especially generic biologics used to treat serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. These drugs can cost up to $10,000 per month. That's why AARP supports the "Promoting Innovation and Access to Life-Saving Medicine Act," which would make it easier to approve safe and affordable generic biologic drugs, save lives and save billions of taxpayer dollars in the process.
There are other important steps we can take. Congress should allow the safe and legal importation of prescription drugs. It should also enable Medicare to directly negotiate prices with drug manufacturers.
All of these common sense solutions ought to be part of health reform this year. To find out what you can do to back these changes and rein in drug costs, go to
Make your voice heard so we can all make a difference in the cost of prescription drugs.
North Dakota's Congressional delegation needs to hear from you. Please call or e-mail them and ask them to co-sponsor the "Promoting Innovation and Access to Life-Saving Medicine Act" (H.R. 1427/S. 726), and to oppose any proposals that force consumers to wait 12 years or more for affordable biologics -- that's far too long to deny patients the financial relief they need from the costs of their treatments.
Senator Kent Conrad
Toll-free Phone: 800-223-4457
Senator Byron Dorgan
Toll-free Phone: 1-800-666-4482
Congressman Earl Pomeroy
You can also help us bring the health reform message to others in North Dakota. The AARP state office is conducting a series of group discussions on health care reform. If you can host a group (large or small), please contact us to arrange for a speaker. Call Marlowe Kro at 701-355-3643 (toll-free 866-554-5383) for information.
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