Proponents argue that the New York State Senate is not doing enough to bring down the price of prescription drugs.
Recently, lawmakers scrapped bills that would have banned “pay-for-delay” agreements and took advantage of lower prices in other countries to cut costs.
AARP New York said the rulings would cost consumers while protecting the profits of drugmakers.
This week, AARP delivered 2,200 prescription bottles at the offices of the State Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the Assembly.
Joseph Stelling, associate state director of AARP New York, said in a video released by the group that each bottle of pills had a note urging lawmakers to end “pay-for-delay” agreements.
“The deals that branded pharmaceutical companies literally pay generic manufacturers to keep generics off the market longer,” Stelling explained. “It costs consumers billions of dollars a year.”
The current legislative session is due to end on June 2.
Stelling argued there was still time, but lawmakers must act to move the bills forward.
“We are paying three times what people in other countries are paying for the same prescription drugs,” Stelling pointed out. “It’s outrageous. We’re paying a lot more, and it’s not fair, and we know we can do better.”
Stelling pointed out over the past month that more than 8,000 members have emailed or called elected officials to lobby for an end to “pay the delay.”
“If it’s not happening, it’s not because of the lack of will of the people,” Stelling stressed. “The question here is whether people or profits win out.”
A 2021 report by advocacy group Public Citizen found that Americans spend more on the 20 most prescribed drugs than the rest of the world combined, with significant disparities for drugs for HIV, autoimmune diseases and diabetes. .
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