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Long Islanders Take Unhealthy Measures to Afford Their Prescriptions
Date:3/19/2008

State Budget, due April 1, Holds Remedy for Long Islanders

NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research poll conducted this past month reveals that Long Islanders are taking very unhealthy measures to cope with the high cost of prescription drugs. One in five (21%) residents delay filling their prescriptions, skip doses, or go without other necessities such as food and heat. In addition, 12% lack any prescription drug coverage.

Other survey highlights include:

-- 18% of young adults ages 18 and 34 lack prescription drug coverage.

-- 16% of Nassau County residents lack drug coverage compared to 9% in Suffolk County.

-- 24% of people ages 35 and 64 had delayed filling their prescriptions, skipped doses, or have gone without other necessities.

"Drug prices continue to rise and people living in Long Island are paying a very high price," stated Luci de Haan, AARP New York Acting State Director. "It is critical that the final New York State Executive Budget includes measures to make prescription drugs affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers."

AARP's Public Policy Institute also released its quarterly Watchdog Report this month documenting that drug companies have substantially raised prices on 220 brand name prescription drugs. The Rx Watchdog report found that prices of brand name drugs raised an average of 7.4 percent in 2007 -- nearly two and a half times the rate of general inflation.

AARP supports several measures in the state budget, proposed by the Governor and Assembly, to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The proposals include creating an Rx discount card for people in need of all ages, allowing Rx Bulk Purchasing by the state to save tax dollars and lower the cost of drugs, and establish an initiative to provide objective information to physicians to encourage more independent prescribing of drugs.

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SOURCE AARP New York
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