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AARP NY Sends Lawmakers Message in 2,200 Plastic Drug Bottles

Pill bottles
Roel Smart

We delivered more than 2,200 prescription drug bottles to the offices of the New York State Senate majority leader and assembly speaker last week — each containing a note from an AARP member urging lawmakers to help lower the cost of prescription drugs. For years, we’ve been urging state officials to ban so-called pay-for-delay deals, which allow drug companies to pay generic manufacturers for delaying the research or production of more affordable versions of similar drugs.

The deals drive down competition and let big drugmakers charge consumers more for the medicine they need.

“Brand-name drug companies are literally paying generic drug manufacturers to keep generic products off the market longer,” Joe Stelling, AARP NY’s associate state director for advocacy, said Wednesday as he delivered the boxes of drug bottles, citing a Federal Trade Commission report suggesting consumers pay $3.5 billion more for drugs each year because of pay-for-delay deals.

An estimated 3.5 million Americans age 65 and older struggled to afford the prescriptions they needed in 2019, according to a report published earlier this year by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our prescription bottle delivery in New York is our latest effort to urge state and federal lawmakers to act on drug prices. We’ve previously delivered more than 4 million drug-reform petitions to lawmakers in Michigan, Maryland, New York, Arizona and Connecticut, among other states.

Learn about how we’re fighting to lower prescription drug prices.

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