Can’t Use Your FSA or HSA to Buy Over-the-Counter Drugs? AARP Is Working on That

It’s no secret that chronic pain is a common problem among older adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 percent of older adults who live on their own suffer from chronic pain, and that number jumps to 75 percent or higher for seniors living in care facilities. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines provide older adults with a trusted first line of defense against pain and allow them to manage their symptoms from the comfort of their own home without having …

Ambassador Froman, Don’t Let the Trans-Pacific Partnership Restrict Access to Affordable Medicine

AARP continues to voice its serious concerns about the current draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that will affect millions of people here in the U.S. and abroad and could set an unfortunate precedent for future trade agreements. The draft agreement contains provisions that add to the profits of the brand-name pharmaceutical industry at the expense of patients and older Americans. In fact, some of the TPP provisions run counter to current U.S. laws that are …

Can’t Swallow Pills? Try These 2 Methods

If you have trouble swallowing pills, you’re not alone. An estimated 40 percent of U.S. adults have experienced problems downing their medicine, according to a survey earlier this year by Harris Interactive. Some have even skipped a dose or stopped taking their medicine as a result. And women are twice as likely as men to have trouble. >> 10 Types of Meds That Can Cause Insomnia It’s also something people are embarrassed to talk about: Only 10 percent told their doctors …

Pay Less for Your Prescription Drugs

By Nicole Duritz The dog days of August are the most likely time for Medicare Part D participants to fall into the “doughnut hole” and see their prescription costs rise. With AARP resources, you can see if you’re at risk of falling in, and find options for lowering your drug costs. The Doughnut Hole Each year, 19 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries fall into the doughnut hole. Once the amount of money you and your insurance company pay for …

Expensive New Hepatitis C Drug Raises Alarms

This piece originally ran in the Huffington Post and was written by Leigh Purvis and Debra B. Whitman. Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It currently affects more than 3 million Americans, many of whom do not know that they are infected. Left untreated, it can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Until recently, hepatitis C treatments only cured about half of patients and often had undesirable …

Drug Company to Pay $2.2 Billion in Risperdal Settlement

We hear a lot about how older Americans have difficulties with their prescription medications. That makes it all the more disturbing when a pharmaceutical company takes advantage of them by promoting a drug as safe and effective for a certain condition – like, say, dementia – when in fact it may not be. According to the Justice Department, that’s what Johnson & Johnson did in marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults and other vulnerable patients. Now the company will …