AARP Survey Shows Support For Legislation To Rein In Drug Prices

Feb 13, 2020

Several bills in the Washington legislature aim to lower drug prices.
Credit AARP photo

A new AARP survey asks respondents about their experiences with prescription drug prices, and it finds support for some legislation pending in the Washington legislature to deal with those costs.

The survey of 812 people ages 45 and older found 91% favor generic drugs coming to the market; 87% want more public disclosure about the costs of drugs for the manufacturer, and 80% want some sort of cap on the price paid by consumers. Eighty percent also support the state negotiating an affordable price on lifesaving drugs such as insulin.

“The pharmaceutical industry hides behind the real true cost of these drugs that they are charging. And they point fingers at everybody on the supply chain. But at the end of the day it comes down to what the manufacturers are charging for these drugs,” said Cathy MacCaul from AARP.

MacCaul says several bills in the Washington legislature deal specifically with prescription drug-related issues. Two deal with transparency and one would create an affordability board.

She hopes "the affordability board will be reviewing the process and determining if maximum price caps are needed. They’re going to be looking at the 25 most prescribed drugs and how much we are paying, as a state.
And they will also have the authority to negotiate with the manufacturers to drive down those prices."

Another House Bill, sponsored by Seventh District Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber (R-Republic), would cap the cost of insulin, and give the state the ability to negotiate a bulk purchase price for the drug. The goal is to push the cost down for many who need it, including those who get their health insurance through the state’s Basic Health Plan.