Hawaii’s Most Expensive Loco Moco: A Prescription Drug Price Analogy

Most people find it quite hard to understand the rising costs of prescription drugs. But what if we use an effective analogy like our favorite local breakfast: the loco moco?

According to AARP Public Policy Institute and AARP Hawaii Research, if the price for a loco moco had increased at the same rate of inflation as prescription drug prices, a loco moco at a popular fast food restaurant would cost $26.97 today compared to $6.70 cost in 2006.

AARP Hawaii also noted the cost of ingredients to make loco moco and what prices would be if they inflated as much as prescription drugs since 2006.

They found that a five-pound bag of rice on sale would be $12.03 compared to $2.99 in 2006; a dozen eggs would cost $6.32 vs $1.57 in 2006; and a pound of ground beef would cost $10.95 versus $2.72 in 2006.

Widely-used brand name prescription drugs since 2006 increased by more than 300%, according to AARP’s Public Policy Institute.

“Drug companies have been hiking their out-of-control prices faster than inflation for decades, forcing some kupuna to choose between paying for groceries and paying for the medicine they need,” said Keali’i Lopez, AARP Hawaii state director.

“The U.S. Senate has the power to stop this outrage and reduce the burden of drug price inflation. Congress must act now to put money back in the pockets of kupuna to help them afford the rising cost of their medicine and other basic needs.”

Lopez hopes that the loco moco comparison can help Hawaii residents realize “how greedy the pharmaceutical companies have been.”

AARP is urging Congress to lower out-of-control drug price inflation by allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices it pays for prescription drugs, creating an annual out-of-pocket cap on what people on Medicare pay for prescription drugs and requiring drug companies to pay a rebate if they raise the price of existing drugs faster than the rate of inflations.

“Americans are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs. Congress needs to lower prices now. Kupuna can’t afford to wait.” said Lopez.

To learn more about prescription drug prices, visit aarp.org/rx.

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