FAYETTEVILLE, Georgia (CW69 News at 10) – US Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is waging a battle to lower the high cost of prescription drugs.
Warnock visited Fayetteville Senior Services to hear from seniors and health care advocates about skyrocketing drug costs. He chaired the first congressional hearing of the Senate committee in Georgia.
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“Something I consistently hear from Georgians, especially seniors, is about how they are being squeezed by the high cost of prescription drugs and the burden it puts on their health and their wallets,” Warnock said.
It comes close to home for Gretchen Spring, who lives in Marietta. Her husband, Peter Spring, had heart disease and Alzheimer’s before he died in April. Together they paid about $12,000 a year, out of pocket, for prescriptions. They made the most of credit cards and $60,000 in retirement funds.
“This is the best country in the world. I know. I’ve lived in another country and it’s outrageous that we have to go through this,” Spring said.
The main reason people don’t fill prescriptions is cost. Warnock says it is an urgent call for Congress to pass his proposed legislation to limit drug costs to $2,000 a year. It would also be a bigger expense for drug manufacturers.
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Warnock proposed separate legislation to limit the cost of insulin to $35 a month, which is now part of a two-pronged measure. This week, Sanofi, an insulin drug maker, announced that it has done just that for all uninsured patients.
“Seniors shouldn’t have to choose between buying groceries and buying medicines they need,” Warnock said.
AARP data shows that the average older American uses about five prescription drugs per month, and four out of five seniors say the cost of drugs is unreasonable.
“Medicare must be able to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. We need to pass legislation that will limit costs,” Warnock said.
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He said he will return to Capitol Hill after the weekend of July 4 to continue his efforts to pass the legislation.