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AARP AARP States Virginia Advocacy

Bipartisan Prescription Drug Affordability Bill Advances

Pill bottle full of US coins and dollars
Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images

RICHMOND _ A bill to help rein in the cost of prescription drugs for Virginians advanced from a House of Delegates committee today and a Senate committee will take up its twin on Monday.

House Bill 570, which would establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, passed 11-9 in House Labor and Commerce this afternoon. The bill’s chief patron is Del. Karrie Delaney (D-Centreville). An identical Senate version, Senate Bill 274, patroned by Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Charlottesville) and Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Galax) will be on the agenda in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday.

The bills have strong bipartisan support. Delaney, Deeds and Stanley penned an editorial that ran today urging their colleagues to pass the legislation.

A Prescription Drug Affordability Board would have the authority to set upper payment limits on certain high-cost prescription medications. The bill passed the Senate in 2023 with bipartisan support but was killed in the House.

AARP Virginia State Advocacy Director Jared Calfee said the most common challenge he hears from Virginians across the state is the skyrocketing cost of their prescription drugs, which has outpaced inflation. People can email their legislators about the issue using this link.

“Medicines only work if patients can afford them,” Calfee said. “We are working hard to put fairness and accountability into the system.”


The price of prescription drugs are increasing well above the rate of inflation. Americans pay more for their medicine than any country on earth, and Virginians pay 36% more than the national average.

In 2023, AARP Virginia polled voters of all ages and found that:

· 35% of Virginians chose not to fill a prescription in 2023.

· three out of four (75%) Virginia voters support creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board.

· two-thirds (67%) of voters take prescription drugs, and half of them spend more than $600 annually on their medication.

· 63% of voters are concerned about the cost of medication.

· across party lines, voters strongly support the creation of a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (Democrats - 85%, Republicans - 71%, Independents - 70%).

The Policy

A Prescription Drug Affordability Board would:

· be an independent state board with the authority to set an upper payment limit on a few of the highest-cost medications for Virginians.

· save taxpayers money by reducing state and local government spending on prescription drugs.

· help ensure affordable access to life-saving medicine for illnesses like cancer and diabetes.

· mitigate out-of-control prices set by the big drug companies.

With nearly 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ and their families in the Commonwealth. In recent years, AARP Virginia has successfully fought for Medicaid expansion, protections for older people against financial exploitation, nursing home staffing standards and empowering family caregivers.

To learn more about AARP Virginia, like us on Facebook at and follow @AARPVa on Twitter at

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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