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AARP Calls for Reforms to Increase Drug Price Competition

En español | AARP joined more than 30 organizations on Thursday in urging the U.S. Senate to pass a series of bipartisan bills that would increase competition in the prescription drug market and close loopholes drug companies use to block consumers’ access to more affordable medications.

In a letter to Senate lawmakers signed by AARP, patient advocates and dozens of other groups, we called for immediate passage of legislation that would “crack down on patent and regulatory abuses by drug companies that thwart competition from lower-priced alternatives.”

“It’s fundamentally unfair that seniors are paying more for their medications because big drug companies are trying to slow or prevent the availability of less expensive generic or biosimilar drugs,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer, during a press conference sponsored by Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.

AARP was instrumental in pushing historic prescription drug reforms over the finish line last year, but we continue to fight for measures that will bring additional relief to the estimated 3.5 million adults 65 and older who struggle to pay for their medications.

This year, AARP is supporting bills that would curb anticompetitive tactics such as “pay for delay” (in which makers of brand-name drugs pay competitors to keep similar generic drugs off the market) and "product hopping” (in which businesses introduce new drugs with minimal changes to previous formulations to extend monopolies on older medications with expiring patents), among other measures.

“Right now, prescription drugs are sold in a broken market,” LeaMond said, adding that the proposed legislation would “restore fundamental market principles to give consumers real choice.”

Watch a recording of the press conference and learn more about how we’re fighting for lower prescription drug prices.

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