FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — US Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) is waging a battle to bring down the high costs of prescription drugs.
Warnock visited Fayetteville Senior Services to hear from seniors and healthcare advocates about skyrocketing drug costs. He chaired the Senate Aging Committee’s first congressional hearing in Georgia.READ MORE: Hands to Heal GA raising funds for program to help youth cope with stress, anxiety
“Something I hear consistently from Georgians, especially seniors, is about how they’re being squeezed by the high cost of prescription drugs and the burden it puts on their health and their wallets,” said Warnock.
It hits close to home for Gretchen Spring, who lives in Marietta. Her husband, Peter Spring, had a heart condition and Alzheimer’s before he died in April. Between the two of them, they paid about $12,000 a year, out of pocket, for prescriptions. They maxed out credit cards and $60,000 in pension funds.
“This is the best country in the world. I know. I’ve lived in another country, and for us to have to go through this is outrageous,” said Spring.
The number one reason people don’t fill prescriptions is the cost. Warnock says it’s an urgent call for Congress to pass his proposed legislation capping drug costs at $2,000 a year. It would also put more of the cost burden on drug manufacturers.READ MORE: United Airlines Puts $10 Million Behind Plan To Shuttle Customers By Electric Aircraft
Warnock proposed separate legislation capping the cost of insulin at $35 a month, which is now part of a bipartisan measure. This week, Sanofi, an insulin drug manufacturer, announced it has done just that for all uninsured patients.
“Seniors shouldn’t have to choose between buying groceries and buying drugs that they need,” said Warnock.
AARP data shows the average older American takes about five prescription drugs per month, and four out of five seniors say drug costs are unreasonable.
“Medicare needs to be able to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. We need to pass the legislation that will cap the costs,” Warnock said.MORE NEWS: Time Is Running Out For Biden To Make Key Decisions On Student Loans
He said he will return to Capitol Hill after the Fourth of July weekend to continue his push to pass the legislation.