AARP to Legislators: Think Before You Cut

Hey blog readers – Jenn here from the communications team. This week I caught up with our staffer David Vinkler down in our Springfield office. He’s our expert on all things related to the state budget as well as home and community based services in Illinois.  He’s pretty much buried right now – analyzing where that elusive $2.8 billion (yeah that’s right, BILLION) in proposed cuts might come from in order for legislators to balance the  state budget by May 31st. …

How high are your prescription drug costs?

Do you get the feeling your prescription drugs are more expensive than they were just a few years ago? It sort of goes with out saying that everyone always feels that way. But here are some numbers: A new prescription drug report out from the AARP Public Policy Institute show that the cost of drugs most commonly used by Medicare recipients rose nearly double the rate of inflation between 2005 to 2009. So the average cost of such a therapy …

The Takeaway: Drugmakers Defraud Uncle Sam Repeatedly

Pharma Giants Flaunt Rules: Several of the largest American pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and patients over the past decade. But because these drugmakers””including Pfizer and Merck””are the only ones making critical medicines in the U.S., the federal government must continue to do business with them.

Blockbuster Drugs Going Generic This Year

Happy New Year! Here’s some good news to start your year off right: many name-brand prescription medications are going generic this year. Among them: Lexapro, used to treat depression (March) Provigil, which treats sleep problems (April) Plavix, an antiplatelet drug which can prevent blood clots (May) Singulair, an Asthma drug (August) In the second half of 2011, Lipitor, Solodyn and Zyprexa went generic. If you are taking any of these name-brand drugs, talk to your doctor about cheaper, generic alternatives. Photo credit: e-MagineArt.com on …

Drug Abuse Among Older Adults On the Rise

This is a guest post by Annie Lynsen, on loan to AARP from Small Act. When you picture a typical drug addict, what age is that person? Probably not over 55. Yet drug and alcohol abuse among older adults is on the rise. Between 1995 and 2002, the number of substance abuse treatment admissions for people 55 and older increased by 32 percent, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2005). Typically, older drug addicts aren’t abusing …

How To Save Money on Medications and Find the Best One For You

Have you ever wondered if the medication you’re taking is really the best one for your condition? Is there a less expensive, but equally effective medication you can use instead? Or is there a comparable drug with fewer side effects? You can find out with the Drug Savings Tool.