GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- Today, AARP Michigan announced key findings from its newly released Michigan Prescription Drug Survey that shows more than half (57%) of Michigan adults 50 and older are concerned they will not be able to afford prescription drugs over the next few years for themselves or their families. Three in four (75%) report they take prescription medications on a regular basis, and 58% cite not filling a prescription because of cost.

According to AARP Michigan State Director Paula D. Cunningham, older adults are disproportionately affected by high prescription drug costs, with 40 percent taking five or more prescription drugs and nearly 20 percent taking 10 or more.

“Michiganders are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for their medications,” Cunningham said. “But the stakes are inarguably high for older Michiganders who typically take medications on a chronic basis. We frequently hear of older adults forced to choose between filling the gas tank or filling their prescriptions – or taking less medication than prescribed to make it last longer. That’s why AARP has been fighting for decades to change this narrative and will continue to do so.”

In August, the country saw significant federal momentum with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law, a bill that includes several key provisions to lower the prices of prescription drugs supported by survey respondents, such as:

  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices (91%),
  • Capping annual out-of-pocket prescription drug costs in Medicare Part D (77%),
  • Holding drug companies accountable when they increase drug prices faster than the rate of inflation, and
  • Capping co-pays for insulin to no more than $35 per month in Medicare Part D.

AARP’s survey also asked participants their opinions on potential state policy changes that could lower the cost of prescription drugs. Respondents overwhelmingly favor Michigan legislation to establish a wholesale drug importation program from Canada (80%). Respondents also support the creation of a state “Prescription Drug Affordability Board” to review the cost of prescription drugs and make recommendations on what to do about drugs deemed unaffordable (74%). 

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they support elected officials doing more to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, which means this issue will remain a top focus for AARP Michigan in their 2023 state legislative advocacy.

(Sponsored by AARP Michigan)