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AARP: SB 376 can help Virginians afford needed medications

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Senate Bill 376, introduced by Fairfax Democrat Chap Petersen, would establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board with the authority to set upper payment limits on certain expensive drugs.

According to an AARP-commissioned survey, in 2017, 23 percent of Virginians stopped taking medications as prescribed due to cost. According to AARP research and analysis, between 2015 and 2019, the average increase in the annual cost of prescription drugs rose by 26.3 percent, while the average income in Virginia increased by only 16.7 percent.

“On behalf of our nearly one million members in Virginia and all those ages 50-plus, who are paying among the highest drug prices in the world, AARP Virginia urges the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 376,” AAARP Virginia State Advocacy Director Natalie Snider said.

“No one should have to choose between buying medicine and paying for food or rent. Skyrocketing prices push life-saving treatments out of reach for too many who need them. These outrageously high prices impact all Virginians by raising premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and the price tag for taxpayer-supported programs. The General Assembly has an opportunity to help Virginians afford needed medications. They need to take it,” Snider said.

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