BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Based on latest available statistics, AARP Idaho says 32% of Idahoans stopped taking a prescription drug in 2016 because of cost. In Idaho, the average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 57.8% in the five-year period while the average Idahoan's annual income only increased 5.1%.
The group presented its report to the National Academy for State Health Policy at its annual conference and detailed its "Stop Rx Greed" campaign.
"While prescription drug prices continue skyrocketing, Americans are being forced to choose between filling life-saving medications or paying rent and buying food," said AARP Idaho state director Lupe Wissel. "So far in 2019, 29 states have passed 46 new laws to rein in drug prices. It's critical that state and federal lawmakers continue this momentum to stop Rx greed."
AARP pointed out that three of the most important pharmaceuticals are also among the most expensive in Idaho.
For example, in the five-year period from 2012 to 2017, AARP said the cancer drug Revlimid increased in price from $147,413 per year to $247,496 per year. 168,216 Idaho residents have been diagnosed with cancer.
129,766 Idahoans have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Lantus, a form of insulin used to treat diabetes, increased from $2,907 per year to $4,702 per year.
And the heart disease medication Aggrenox increased from $3,030 per year in 2012 to $4,930 per year in 2017.
You can learn more about the AARP campaign here.