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Michiganders Asked to Join Fight Against Drug Price Hikes

The average annual cost of a brand-name prescription medication has outpaced inflation by about 400% over the past decade. (Secondside/Adobe Stock)
The average annual cost of a brand-name prescription medication has outpaced inflation by about 400% over the past decade. (Secondside/Adobe Stock)
August 21, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – The rising cost of prescription drug prices continues to make headlines, and Michiganders are encouraged to help find solutions.

AARP Michigan is hosting two upcoming Prescription Drug Community Conversations next Monday. Associate State Director for Communications Mark Hornbeck explains that the annual average cost of a brand-name drug has more than tripled over the past decade, outpacing inflation by roughly 400%.

"Drug companies are making billions in profits off seniors and other hard-working Americans,” says Hornbeck. “No one should have to choose between buying groceries and the medicine. It's time to crack down on drug companies for charging Americans the highest prices in the world for the medicines they need."

The community conversations will include two state representatives. Fowlerville Republican Hank Vaupel will be on hand at the Crystal Gardens Banquet Center in Howell, and Democrat Kevin Hertel will attend the event at Lakeview High School in his hometown of St. Clair Shores.

More information is online at 'states.aarp.org/Michigan/welcome-to-aarp-michigan.'

Hundreds of thousands of people already have signed onto AARP's Stop Rx Greed petition that calls for immediate congressional action to lower drug prices. While most efforts are occurring at the federal level, Hornbeck notes Michigan lawmakers also are taking a stand.

"We have the Hank Vaupel bill to improve prescription-drug price transparency laws,” says Hornbeck. “There's a bill to allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada, also a bill that would put a cap on insulin co-pays for insured Michiganders."

AARP is advocating for drug-pricing policies that will stop price gouging, increase affordability and support transparency. Hornbeck says specific solutions include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, getting cheaper generic versions of medications to market faster; and holding drug manufacturers accountable for dramatic cost increases.

Disclosure: AARP Michigan contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI