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High Rx Costs Hit New York Hispanic Community Hard

New York, NY--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--February 15, 2006--As drug costs continue to rise, most Hispanic New Yorkers are finding it difficult to afford the drugs they need to stay healthy, according to an AARP survey released today at a press conference in Manhattan. At the event, members of the Hispanic community spoke of their struggles with high prescription drug costs and AARP urged people to join the fight to pass state laws making drugs more affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers.

“The findings of this survey are disturbing to say the least. The Hispanic community is clearly struggling to afford their prescription drugs,” said Alejandro Garcia, a member of AARP New York’s Executive Council. “We must all work together to pass state laws to ensure that no one has to choose between filling their grocery cart and filling their prescriptions because drugs are so expensive.”

The survey found that close to 70% of Hispanics in the New York City area have delayed, not filled, or taken less than the prescribed dosage of their drugs because they were too expensive. The survey also found that while 48% of Hispanics pay for their drugs through a state-sponsored program, nearly 20% pay the full retail price. Close to 90% of people surveyed support the creation of a discount prescription drug card in New York State for those people who have no prescription drug coverage.

“With prescription drug costs soaring, the price of staying healthy is simply growing beyond the reach of many New Yorkers” said Madeline Moore, AARP New York State President. “We are working very hard in New York State to educate people in need to get the prescription drugs they require to live healthy lives.”

AARP New York is advocating for new state laws requiring the state to bulk purchase prescription drugs and pass the savings on to those who lack drug coverage in the form of a discount card. Also, AARP is pushing for a new law to shine the light on the practices of pharmaceutical sales representatives promoting new, higher costing drugs over less expensive but equally effective drugs by giving gifts, including meals and trips, to physicians.

AARP has over 2.6 million members in New York State. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; Segunda Juventud, our quarterly newspaper in Spanish; Live and Learn, our quarterly newsletter for National Retired Teachers Association members; and our Web site, www.aarp.org. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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