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Spanberger hosts prescription drug town hall in Goochland County

Abigail SpanbergerRep. Abigail Spanberger hosted a prescription drug-focused, public town hall in Goochland County on Monday.

Spanberger, D-Va., was joined by AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau and Virginia Pharmacists Association Executive Director Christina Barrille to answer questions about the factors contributing to high drug costs in Central Virginia and ongoing efforts at both the federal and state levels to lower prescription drug prices.

The Seventh District congresswoman also discussed her recent work in the U.S. House to increase competition within the pharmaceutical industry, including helping to pass legislation—the Lower Drug Costs Now Act—that would give Medicare Part D the power to negotiate drug prices.

“Skyrocketing prescription drug costs are jeopardizing the health and financial security of Central Virginia seniors and families—and the personal stories of my constituents are truly heartbreaking. Over the last few years, I’ve heard from pharmacists who are seeing patients walking away without their medication, families who are painstakingly rationing insulin, and seniors who are even considering making the long trek to Canada to obtain cheaper medicine,” said Spanberger.

Spanberger announced at the town hall the initial results of her 2020 Prescription Drug Survey, a fact-gathering survey that asked Central Virginians to share their stories about how the growing prescription drug affordability crisis is impacting their health and financial security.

After launching the survey last month, her office has received more than 2,500 survey responses from Central Virginia families and seniors about the effects of rising prescription drug prices.

“To tackle the prescription drug affordability crisis, we need to understand how high costs are directly impacting the people in our communities and in our neighborhoods—and we need to redouble our resolve to pass meaningful legislation that can lower prices and stimulate competition across the industry,” Spanberger said. “This effort must include the U.S. Senate taking a vote on the commonsense, bipartisan Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which the House passed in December. I’d like to thank the many Goochland residents who joined us at our prescription drug town hall last night, and I’ll keep fighting in the House to bring additional peace of mind and financial stability to our neighbors across Central Virginia.”

In the Seventh District, more than 96,000 people are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, and nearly 614,000 individuals are enrolled in private health insurance. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would deliver tangible cost-savings for these Central Virginia seniors, families, and those with chronic conditions.

For example, the legislation could decrease arthritis medication prices in Virginia from $40,000 to $10,000 per year.

Additionally, Virginians with diabetes would see dramatic price decreases. If enacted, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act would lower the total cost of the insulin medication NovoLOG Flexpen by an estimated 76 percent—from $19,800 to $4,800 per year.

Click here to read more about the Virginia-specific benefits of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

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