MALONEY DECRIES PREDATORY PRICING

Jun 16, 2002
Press Release

New York City, NY - NYC seniors are paying some of the highest prescription drug prices in the developed world, forcing them to choose between life-altering or even life-saving treatments and necessities such as food or rent, according to a new international study conducted by the offices of Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D - Manhattan & Queens) and Anthony Wiener (D-Queens & Brooklyn). The study, which was prepared in conjunction with the Special Investigations Division of the House Committee on Government Reform, revealed that NYC Seniors pay substantially more for the same medications than seniors in other countries.

The drug companies that charge seniors exorbitant prices in the United States sell the very same drugs for much, much less in Europe, Asia, and Canada. According to the Maloney-Weiner study, which shows that the five most popular drugs on the market-Prevacid, Prilosec, Zocor, Celebrex, and Lipitor- the drugs studied cost American seniors two and sometimes three times more than their foreign counterparts pay. Congresswoman. Maloney denounced the current system in which "American seniors, and New Yorkers in particular, are being gouged by inflated drug-prices. Without a Medicare Prescription drug benefit, too may seniors are forced to drain their retirement savings or forgo necessary medical treatment."

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MALONEY - WEINER STUDY:

NYC seniors pay much higher prices for the most popular prescription drugs:

  • The top 5 drugs cost 173% more in NYC than in France.
  • The top 5 drugs cost 145% more in NYC than in Canada.
  • The top 5 drugs cost 141% more in NYC than in the United Kingdom.
  • The top 5 drugs cost 117% more in NYC than in Italy.
  • The top 5 drugs cost 106% more in NYC than in Germany.

NYC seniors pay up to three times as much to fill monthly prescriptions:

  • Prevacid costs $138 in NYC, but only $45 in the U.K.
  • Celebrex costs $87 in NYC, but only $30 in France.
  • Prilosec costs $139 in NYC, but only $53 in Canada.
  • Lipitor costs $73 in NYC, but only $40 in Japan.
  • Zocor costs $113 in NYC, but only $45 in Canada.

NYC seniors pay thousands more annually for prescription drugs:

  • Prevacid costs $1,119 more a year in NYC than in Europe, Asia, Canada.
  • Prilosec costs $1,109 more a year in NYC than in Europe, Asia, Canada.
  • Zocor costs $815 more a year in NYC than in Europe, Asia, Canada.
  • Celebrex costs $678 more a year in NYC than in Europe, Asia, Canada.
  • Lipitor costs $596 more a year in NYC than in Europe, Asia, Canada.

At a press conference with NYC seniors on Sunday June 16th, the Congresswoman said:

"The costs of these prescriptions are all-too-often a life and death issue and we must not stand by and watch as the prices sky-rocket beyond the reach of seniors in need. The costs have grown so high that I have heard stories of seniors here in New York who are forced to dilute their prescriptions in order to afford their benefits. I have heard of others that cut their pills in half in order to get by financially."

 

"In the United States, there is nothing to prevent the drug manufacturers from charging these higher prices to uninsured customers. It is sadly ironic that the United States leads the way in medical breakthroughs, but internationally, we are leagues behind in ensuring access to the much needed medication.... The nations named in the study are oceans away... and light years ahead, in the protection of their seniors."

 

Reps. Maloney and Weiner are the sponsors of several bills that would create an affordable, generous and voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit, including H.R. 1512, the Medicare Extension of Drugs to Seniors Act, or lower drug bills for seniors, including H.R. 1400, the Prescription Drug Fairness for Seniors Act.

Read the Study

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