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Oregonians Call on Action from Congress on Prescription Drug Prices


Monday, March 21, 2022   

Many Oregonians want Congress to act on the escalating prices of prescription drugs.

More than 65,000 people from around the state have signed an AARP petition calling on lawmakers to take steps to control drug costs now.

Stacy Larsen, communications director for AARP Oregon, said high drug prices directly impact people's lives.

"We know that Americans right now are paying more than three times what people in other countries pay for the very same medicines," said Larsen. "Many seniors here in Oregon are often forced to choose between filling a prescription or buying groceries, paying for their utilities or other necessities."

AARP is supporting legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, put a cap on out-of-pocket costs for older Americans and impose penalties on drug companies that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation.

Last week, Oregonians delivered their petition virtually to Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley - D-Ore. - telling stories of financial hardship and even losing their homes because of the cost of medication.

The two senators have pledged their support to bring prices down. Larsen says this issue cuts across party lines.

"It's not a blue issue, it's not a red issue," said Larsen. "This is an issue of universal concern, and it's touching seniors, families all over the state."

A Kaiser Family Foundation Poll from 2021 found about eight in ten Americans think the cost of prescription drugs is "unreasonable." It also topped the list of health-care concerns people want Congress to tackle.

Disclosure: AARP Oregon contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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