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AARP Disappointed By Senate Vote Against Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Drug News J E 4
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BALTIMORE, Dec. 15 SUMMARY: The U.S. Senate today rejected an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would have helped make prescription drugs more affordable by allowing for the safe and legal importation of lower priced drugs from abroad. The bipartisan amendment, endorsed by AARP and sponsored by Senators Dorgan, Snowe, McCain, Grassley and Stabenow, would have improved competition and helped to bring down the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs.

The Senate also rejected a second amendment sponsored by Sen. Lautenberg which would have created an unnecessary roadblock for prescription drug importation. In a move designed to block importation, the amendment prohibited importation of prescription drugs unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services can certify that it is safe to do so. Despite the fact that safety provisions are already built into the AARP-endorsed Dorgan-Snowe amendment, this version is designed to create administrative hurdles to effectively prevent importation.

"AARP is deeply disappointed that Senators Cardin and Mikulski both voted against lower prescription drug prices for their constituents," said Interim State Director Tiffany Lundquist. "With brand name drug prices rising at alarming rates, we hope they will further review the negative impact on the people of Maryland and reconsider their position."

Making prescription drugs more affordable has long been one of AARP's top priorities. The Dorgan-Snowe-McCain-Grassley-Stabenow importation amendment would have been a first step toward lowering the cost of medications in this country. AARP will continue to fight for this amendment and against the unnecessary roadblocks that could prevent its implementation.

AARP notified the 111th Congress that it was tracking roll call votes on key legislation important to its nearly 40 million members and reporting the outcomes of these votes to its members and all older Americans.

AARP members and all older Americans can see how their representatives voted on health care reform by going to www.aarp.org/governmentwatch. AARP's Government Watch is a one-stop online portal that will be tracking and publicizing every designated key vote on issues facing Americans age 50-plus. A "Key Vote Summary" highlighting votes on these issues will be published at the end of each congressional session.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's nearly 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

VOTED YES ON RX IMPORTATION VOTED NO ON RX IMPORTATION AMENDMENT TO LOWER DRUG AMENDMENT TO LOWER DRUG MARYLAND COSTS COSTS -------- --------------------------- -------------------------- Cardin, Ben X ----------- --- Mikulski, Barbara X ----------------- ---

SOURCE AARP Maryland
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