COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – AARP says members across the country are having trouble paying for prescription medications. And data shows that drug prices used to treat serious diseases like cancer has only increased.
In 2016, almost 30 percent of South Carolinians stopped taking prescription medications due to increasing costs.
AARP South Carolina Director Teresa Arnold says there are many challenges facing its members. The biggest challenge is the cost of medication.
The price for drugs used to treat cancer, diabetes and heart has increased significantly. Teresa Arnold says those medications are common in South Carolina. “We have some of the highest rates of diabetes and heart diseases in the country.”
Since 2012, the cost of insulin increased by almost $2,000 and the cost of heart disease medication has almost doubled. This increase has caused many South Carolinians to quit their medications.
“One in four that’s just really unacceptable that people can’t even buy their own life saving medications,” Arnold said.
AARP is nationally advocating for legislation that allows Medicare to negotiate drug costs. The organization also wants states to allow medications to be imported.
In South Carolina, there are 516,000 people living with cancer; 584,000 have diabetes and 190,000 have heart disease.