July 26, 2021
56th Anniversary of Medicare Brings Fight to Lower Drug Prices into High Gear
Americans continue to pay the highest prices in the industrialized world for prescription drugs, and as Medicare’s 56th anniversary approaches on July 30, the pharmaceutical industry is spending millions to protect their sky-high profits.
More than 54 million seniors rely on Medicare for guaranteed, quality health coverage, and while the program is highly regarded, seniors are still struggling to afford their prescription drugs. A new analysis found that women on Medicare spent an average of $6,175 a year on out-of-pocket health care costs while men spent $5,375, much of it on prescription medications.
“Lower drug prices are an essential part of retirement security, and there is no reason for them to be this high. We know that if Medicare were allowed to negotiate lower prices, the way that the Veterans Administration does today, it would save $450 billion over the next ten years,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Seniors are bearing the brunt of these costs and they cannot afford to continue paying these exorbitant prices.”
The Nevada, Ohio and Oregon Alliance chapters have already held Medicare birthday events. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto joined the Nevada Alliance’s event that included the Women of Washoe earlier this month.
Additional Alliance anniversary events are planned during the next week in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Vermont and Wisconsin, and several more will follow in August and September. Social Security’s 86th anniversary is August 14.
As Medicare’s anniversary approaches, the Alliance is doubling down on our advocacy in support of lower drug prices.