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A proposal to create the nation's first online price comparison for prescriptions in drugstores gained powerful allies Monday.

AARP, which lobbies on behalf of seniors, and other influential lobbying groups said they will make a top priority of the bill, which would require drugstores statewide to report and update their prices electronically. That would allow consumers without prescription coverage to save as much as $80 on a medication.

"Thirteen percent of our members are paying full retail (price), and I'm one of them," said Joan Powell, 67, of the Albany suburb of Latham, an AARP member. The retired widow says she spends $250 a month on prescription drugs because her health plan doesn't cover prescriptions.

The New York Public Interest Research Group released findings of its comparison shopping that showed wide disparity in retail prices for drugs even between nearby stores.

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