Spanberger hosts virtual prescription drug cost discussion

Abigail SpanbergerRep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA_07) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on Wednesday with Central Virginia patients, pharmacists, and providers to discuss the impact of high prescription drug costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent Gallup poll showed that nearly nine in 10 U.S. adults are concerned about rising drug costs amid the pandemic. During yesterday’s discussion, Spanberger met several Central Virginia constituents to learn more about challenges caused by overpriced prescription drugs and to discuss potential legislative solutions to the drug affordability crisis.

Additionally, Spanberger heard from a local, independent pharmacist about how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) contribute to high prescription drug costs for Central Virginia patients and their families. Earlier this year, the U.S. House passed Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation to increase transparency in prescription drug negotiations, bring accountability to the world of PBMs, and lower drug costs for patients.

“No one should be forced to endure financial hardships, ration their medication, skip lifesaving doses of drugs, or make the long trek to Canada for cheaper drugs — just because of the decisions made by pharmaceutical companies. Throughout our district, I’ve heard directly from our neighbors about how sky-high drug prices affect their financial decisions each day — and the pandemic has only heightened these struggles,” said Spanberger.

“For seniors and families, the ability to afford prescription medication can determine their ability to put food on the table, pay the bills, and keep a roof over their heads. During yesterday’s discussion, we heard from several Central Virginians who have experienced these stressors firsthand. I’d also like to thank the experts who joined our conversation to share the stories they’ve heard from their neighbors at our local pharmacies. Especially during this challenging moment of health and financial uncertainty, we must take further actions to bring greater accountability and competition to the pharmaceutical industry. The status quo — especially in the middle of a pandemic — is jeopardizing the financial stability of our neighbors across Central Virginia.”

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