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AARP: We support Van Hollen drug pricing plan

Maryland AARP supports a plan by Rep. Chris Van Hollen to ensure the price of drugs developed with federal funding is reasonably priced.
Maryland AARP supports a plan by Rep. Chris Van Hollen to ensure the price of drugs developed with federal funding is reasonably priced.

AARP is working hard to lower drug prices, and we appreciate Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s shared commitment to this critical issue. Make no mistake, Senator Van Hollen has actively worked to end price gouging by drug manufacturers. For example, he has long championed Medicare negotiation — a critical reform that has the potential to reduce drug prices for millions of older Americans and is a top priority for AARP.

That is why AARP is proud to endorse Senator Van Hollen’s bipartisan legislation, S.2387, the “We Protect American Investment in Drugs (PAID) Act,” which he recently introduced with Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican. This legislation would help to ensure that prescription drugs developed in part or in full with federal funding are reasonably priced.

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Each year, federal taxpayers contribute billions towards the development of new drugs. In fact, every single one of the 210 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 2010 to 2016 was based on some element of science funded by taxpayers through the National Institutes of Health. However, those same drugs are often priced so high that they are unaffordable to the millions of older Americans who need them. There is no reason why Americans should be unable to afford the prescription drugs that their tax dollars helped to develop.

Both Senator Van Hollen and Sen. Ben Cardin have been committed to making progress for older Americans. Maryland is fortunate to have such strong advocates for lowering drug prices representing us in the U.S. Senate.

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Hank Greenberg

The writer is state director of AARP Maryland.

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