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With prescription prices skyrocketing, Virginians push for change

Prescription drugs pill bottles Getty 022509
Posted at 9:39 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 21:39:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- People across Virginia are pushing for prescription drug prices to be made more affordable.

On average, American adults pay $177 out of pocket every year for the medicine that they need. Senior citizens are paying three times that amount.

For some, the price tag is simply becoming too high.

"Virginians for Affordable Medicine" are calling on lawmakers to accomplish two things this year to help mitigate this problem.

As 2021 is an election year, they want everyone who is running for the House of Delegates to commit to lowering prescription drug prices. Because promises only go so far, the advocates want the creation of a prescription drug advisory board.

That body would set an upper price limit for consumers on specific medicines. Maryland and Colorado already have this kind of board.

Denise Wilson represents 50 Baptist churches in Northern Virginia and says that many of their members have had to decide between buying groceries and paying for their prescriptions some months.

A Virginia neuropsychiatrist said that she has seen this happen.

"As a physician, I see firsthand how these high costs force my patients to split their pills, to skip their medications and to ration their care coming to see me," Dr. Colleen Blanchfield said.

The coalition said that one in four Virginians that they surveyed reported not taking their medication because of how much it costs.