Sen. Kelly Backs Bill to Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Arizona Seniors

Legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescriptions drugs

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly has cosponsored The Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act, which would lift restrictions preventing Medicare from negotiating the price of prescription drugs for seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. 

“The rising cost of prescription drugs has hurt Arizona seniors for far too long. I’ve talked with seniors across Arizona who have faced the difficult choice of paying for their groceries or their life-saving medication. It does not have to be this way. This proposal would lower the rising cost of prescription drugs for Arizona seniors and ensure that they can afford the medication they need,” said Senator Mark Kelly

Current law only allows for negotiation between insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, not Medicare. The Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, eliminating the “non-interference” clause that bans Medicare from negotiating for better prices. By bargaining on behalf of nearly 46 million seniors, Medicare would be in a position to secure bigger discounts and ensure enrollees are receiving the best prices for the medicine they need.

Kelly is a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. At a committee hearing last week, Kelly spoke about the challenges Arizona seniors face in meeting their health care needs from his conversations with Arizonans across the state and meetings with his Arizona Senior Citizens Advisory Group made up of leading seniors advocates in the state.