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AARP Delaware pushes lawmakers to address rising prescription drug costs

Delaware Public Media

An AARP study shows retail drug prices are increasing exceeding the general inflation rate and the group wants lawmakers to take action


  According to the report from AARP’s Public Policy Institute, retail prices for 260 widely used brand name prescription drugs increased at 2.9 percent compared to the inflation rate of 1.3 percent.

Medicare Part D spent nearly $40 billion more on top brand name drugs between 2015 and 2019 due to the price increases.

The study states that if Medicare Part D spending for the top 50 drugs had been limited to the rate of general inflation prices would have totaled $250.8 billion over the study period instead of $289.1 billion.

Meanwhile, in Delaware the annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 26.3 percent while the annual income for residents increased 15.7 percent.

AARP Delaware communications director Kim Wharton says the group’s members are concerned about rising drug prices

"We hear from people all of the time - our members- about the challenges they're having with the cost of prescription drugs," saif Wharton. "For example, one person told me he's paying more than $400 a month for a blood pressure medication and because it's a tier one drug the price will be even higher in 2022."

Wharton says AARP believes there’s a solution to save money for taxpayers and those on Medicare.

"AARP on the local and federal level has been working very hard to encourage Congress to do something to lower the cost of prescription drug prices, and what we would like to do is have Medicare be allowed to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs for its beneficiaries and allow other insurers to have access to those Medicare negotiated prices."

Wharton adds AARP has launched a campaign to get residents to contact their members in Congress to take action to help lower prices. 

The hotline number to call is 844-489-1339.


Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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