ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--Hundreds of AARP ADVOCATES TRAVELED TO ALBANY TO RALLY FOR A PACKAGE OF BILLS THAT COULD MAKE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS MORE AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE.  

FOR DONALD BAYLIES, WHO CAN’T AFFORD HIS PTSD MEDICATION, THE PROPOSED CHANGES WOULD REPRESENT A BIG STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

“And I have a nine-hundred-dollar copay and it’s just—I can’t reach it. So, I won’t be able to take my meds that I need, and I would like to see something happen,” he said. 

AND BAYLIES ISN’T ALONE, CHERYL CHAPMAN WHO HAD CORNEA TRANSPLANT NEEDS immunosuppressant EYE DROPS IN ORDER TO PREVENT ORGAN REJECTION.

BUT THE $630 PRICE TAG IS PUTTING HER MEDICATION OUT OF REACH.

SHE SAid SHE’S HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN PAYING FOR MEDICINE— AND BUYING FOOD AND PAYING RENT. CHAPMAN STRESSEs SHE ISN’T THE ONLY ONE STRUGGLING.  

“It’s not just me there’s a lot of people out there that need this. The drugs are too expensive and we’re on fixed incomes now,” she said. 

ONE BILL WITHIN THE PACKAGE is designed to TACKLE AFFORDABILITY BY FORCING PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES TO REVEAL WHAT ARE CALLED ‘PAY TO DELAY DEALS’ THAT KEEP LOWER PRICED GENERIC DRUGS FROM REACHING THE MARKET SOONER.  

LAWMAKERS SAid THEY ARE DETERMINED TO MOVE THIS BILL AND OTHERS WITHIN THE PACKAGE ACROSS THE FINISH LINE, DESPITE SOME CHALLENGES, BEFORE THE END OF SESSION.  

“Everything’s been stymied by the budget process to be honest with you. Only in the last week have things started to move so right now it's about trying to force them out of committee, get them to the floor for debate,” said Assembly Member John McDonald (D-Assembly District 108).