Why action needs to be taken on higher prescription prices

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) -Buying prescriptions can be expensive. According to AARP, Americans pay some of the highest drug prices in the world. This causes many people to choose between buying their medications and things like food or other essentials.

For people like Ellie Sturdevant, buying her prescriptions each month can come at a costly expense.

“One is a blood thinner and one is a blood pressure med and they’re mighty spendy,” AARP member, buys prescriptions, Ellie Sturdevant said.

High drug prices can have an impact on people in the senior generation. According to AARP, many of those people are taking four to five prescription pills per day.

“I’m not in a bad of shape financially as some people are but when you’re looking at $200 out of your budget, it puts a strain on it,” Sturdevant said.

That’s why AARP staff from across the country are in Washington D.C. this week in hopes of spreading the message of why prescription prices need to be reduced.

“Most senior population is on a fixed income and so when those prices continue to increase significantly, it really puts a strain on all aspects of their life, whether it’s access to food, access to medical treatments, access to really living the lives they want to live in their small rural communities or in Sioux Falls or Rapid City, it really impacts everybody,” AARP SD State Director, Erik Gaikowski said.

They will be speaking with members of the U.S. Senate.

“One of the big things that we think the U.S. Senate can help with or Congress in general, is really taking advantage of ways that Medicare can reduce those caps on out of pocket expenses, cap that inflation rate, or cap those prices to the rate of inflation,” Gaikowski said.

There are over 100,000 AARP members across South Dakota, and Gaikowski says it’s important this topic is addressed.

“You know that those costs really add up, and it’s a good way for the Senate to take action on reducing the burden for some of those South Dakotans,” Gaikowski said.

“I would like to see these prices lowered,” Sturdevant said.

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