RICHMOND, Va. — Freedom Virginia, a nonpartisan 501(c)4 organization committed to building a Commonwealth where all Virginia families have the freedom to thrive, today announced the organization will spend five figures educating voters in Henrico County about Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s decision to vote against lowering the cost of prescription drugs. This advertisement will be the first shown to voters during the 2023 legislative cycle which focuses on Senator Dunnavent.
Senator Dunnavant voted against legislation (SB 957) that would have created a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to lower the prices of high-cost medicines despite the fact the Senate passed the bill by a strong bipartisan vote of 26-13 in which five Republicans joined Democrats in their support. Eighty-two percent of Virginians support the concept of such a Board.
In 2022 alone, drug companies have hiked the price of more than 1,200 drugs by an average of 31.6% – about four times the rate of inflation. In 2020, Virginians spent 36% more per person on prescription drugs than the national average: $1,500 in Virginia compared to $1,100 nationally. From 2015 to 2020, Virginians’ average spending on prescription drugs rose from $1,400 to $1,500 – a 6.6% increase, more than twice the national increase. Last year, Virginians paid a combined $3.2 billion on prescription drugs in the commercial market. Virginia could have joined seven other states with both Republican and Democratic governors in passing a PDAB.
In addition to this digital buy, Freedom Virginia is running a mail and digital accountability campaign highlighting legislators’ votes on key affordability legislation impacting energy, taxes, paid leave, and housing.
“Senator Dunnavant chose pharmaceutical companies’ profits over the health of hardworking people and families and she offered no alternative plan in the face of what is undeniably a crisis with 1 in 4 Virginians reporting they have skipped taking their medicines due to cost,” said Rhena Hicks, executive director of Freedom Virginia. “People in our commonwealth are struggling just to stay alive and Dunnavant’s constituents deserve to know that she does not stand by their side in the fight for lower drug costs.”
The ad features Doctor Wendy Klein, an internal medicine doctor in the Richmond area with over 35 years of experience. The transcript for the 30-second ad is below and linked HERE. A shorter variation of the ad will run as well.
FREEDOM VIRGINIA – “Dr Klein”
Dr Klein: I’ve practiced medicine for over 35 years, and far too often I’ve seen patients struggle with unaffordable medications.
VO: With drug prices skyrocketing, Senator Siobhan Dunnavant voted NO on a bipartisan bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Virginia.
Dr Klein: I don’t understand why Senator Dunnavant, who’s a doctor, would vote against a bill that would reduce prescription drug costs.
VO: Senator Dunnavant: It’s time to side with Virginians, not big Pharma.