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Illinois House Approves Program to Stop the Greed of Prescription Drug Companies

Posted on 04/16/19 by Dina Anderson

Pills decorated with dollar bills

Springfield, Ill. — Sending a strong message to drug companies that skyrocketing prescription drug prices must be stopped, the Illinois House of Representatives voted Wednesday to implement a novel new program aimed at arming doctors with unbiased, objective information on pharmaceuticals.

House members voted 130 to 0 to pass HB 3097, sponsored by Rep. Theresa Mah, (D-2) and aimed at improving patient care and ultimately reducing health care costs.

“Residents in Illinois have told us that the high cost of prescription drugs is forcing them to scale back on other important expenditures, sometimes even basic food and housing expenses,” said Bob Gallo, Illinois State Director. “On behalf of our 1.7 million members, AARP Illinois commends Rep. Mah for her leadership on a bill that works to ensure that people who are sick, vulnerable or struggling don’t have to make these heartbreaking – and harmful – decisions impacting their well-being.”

Today’s bill passage marks a victory for AARP, which last month launched ‘ Stop Rx Greed,’ a nationwide campaign aimed at lowering prescription drug prices. The goal of AARP’s sustained campaign is to help drive down drug prices for Illinois residents and all Americans by advocating for a variety of legislative, executive, and regulatory actions at both the federal and state level.

AARP Illinois is also lobbying in support of HB 156, which would add new reporting and disclosure requirements for price information on prescription drugs for manufacturers, insurance companies, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Attorney General in order to increase transparency on drug costs.

AARP image November 2018

As part of the Stop RX Greed campaign, AARP Research conducted a national survey of likely voters ages 50 and older. The survey found that significant majorities of self-identified Republican, Democrat, and independent voters shared concerns about the high price of drugs, and support common-sense policies that will lower prices.

Survey findings include:

  • 72 percent say they are concerned about the cost of their medications.
  • 63 percent say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable.
  • 90 percent support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
  • 80 percent report taking at least one prescription medication.
  • Nearly 40 percent say they did not fill a prescription provided by their doctor with cost being the most common reason.

“The current prescription drug system shamelessly shifts costs to patients and taxpayers, while drug companies remain free to set high prices and increase them anytime they want,” said Andre Jordan, associate state director of advocacy for AARP IL. “We are committed to advocating on behalf of our members so they no longer have to worry about filling a prescription that would improve their health just because of its price tag.”

For more about Stop Rx Greed, visit www.aarp.org/rx .

 

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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