RICHMOND, Va. — Dr. Rommaan Ahmad, a pain management physiatrist in Alexandria, today published an op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch calling out Governor Youngkin and Republicans in the House for rejecting SB 957, the legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. She specifically names Gov. Glenn Youngkin whose administration testified against the legislation.
The board would have comprised a small, independent group of health care experts to analyze the affordability of certain high-priced prescription drugs and institute reasonable limits to protect consumers from harmful price-gouging. Dr. Ahmad joins organizations like AARP Virginia and the Commonwealth Council on Aging in supporting PDAB legislation. This bill was killed earlier this year without even giving the full House of Delegates the chance to consider it, despite the massive popularity of the legislation among voters of all political persuasions.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Column: Va. lawmakers put lives at risk by siding with Big Pharma
As a physician, I recently waited with anticipation for the Virginia General Assembly to help make healthcare more affordable for my patients, and patients across our commonwealth. Passing a proposal that would help make prescription drugs more affordable should have been an obvious opportunity to take advantage of. Unfortunately, our lawmakers, largely Republicans, let Virginians down by putting drug industry profits ahead of people’s health.
I see, firsthand, how high prescription drug costs force my patients to split pills, skip their medication and ration their care by seeing me, or any doctor, less than necessary. The problem is real – and likely to get worse.
Virginians should be deeply concerned when people’s health and lives are put at risk because of Big Pharma’s greed. We must hold accountable politicians who refuse to make prescription drugs more affordable while Big Pharma can continue to squeeze patients and their families. Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Republicans in the House of Delegates who fought this legislation, leading to its demise, should be ashamed.
We’ll know whom to thank. Policymakers now have a responsibility to find solutions that can help overcome this preventable problem and help save lives. As candidates for the General Assembly go before voters this November, I will be looking for their position on this issue, and hope that all politicians can get behind this commonsense idea so we can bring it to Virginia.
Read the full op-ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch HERE.