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Local Events Offer Help to Fight High Rx Costs

From 2012 to 2017 the average cost of brand name prescription drugs in PA rose 58%. (Burlingham/Adobe Stock)
From 2012 to 2017 the average cost of brand name prescription drugs in PA rose 58%. (Burlingham/Adobe Stock)
August 26, 2019

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvanians who are struggling to pay the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs will be able to learn how to fight back at a series of upcoming events.

On average, prescription prices are rising about six times faster than incomes. According to Bill Johnston Walsh, state director of AARP Pennsylvania, the free "Stop Rx Greed" events being held across the state in September and October will encourage the public to make their voices heard by contacting state and federal elected officials to demand action.

"In five months alone, we've collected over 50,000 petitions that basically say people want relief now in their prescription drug prices,” Walsh said.

On the state level, Walsh said AARP is supporting House Bill 1042, which would create a state prescription drug pricing task force, and House Bill 568, which would promote transparency in drug prices.

"It's model legislation that requires pharmaceutical companies to provide justification for price increases to state officials,” he explained.

On the federal level, he noted legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices would save billions in out-of-pocket costs and co-pays. Walsh added the events will also be used to collect the personal stories of people who simply cannot afford the cost of medications they need.

"Every place we go someone has a story where prescription prices have gotten so out of control that they have to either cut back or they just don't take it,” Walsh said. “And these are just unacceptable things."

The complete schedule of events can be found at AARP.org/PA.

Disclosure: AARP Pennsylvania contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA