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Stadelman backs proposal to prevent prescription price gouging

stadelman 051618 2SPRINGFIELD – To help combat recent reports of drug price gouging in Rockford, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) today voiced support of a proposal that will prohibit drug manufacturers and wholesale distributors from drastically increasing the price of generic medications.

Stadelman, who is a co-sponsor of House Bill 4099, was joined by colleagues from the Illinois House and Senate, as well as representatives from the NAACP and AARP.

According to recent news stories, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Inc. increased the price of a vial of Acthar, a prescription to treat babies suffering from a rare seizure disorder, from $40 to $54,000 per vial. The city of Rockford, which is self-insured, was forced to pay nearly $490,000 when two babies of city employees needed the vital prescription.

“These drug companies are exploiting sick babies and their families,” Stadelman said. “As a result of these irresponsible actions by the drug company, Rockford taxpayers are forced to pay nearly half a million dollars that could have paid for crucial city projects. It’s time to put a stop to these reckless actions.”

Under the proposal, companies that increase prices of generic or off-patent drugs by more than 30 percent in one year, 50 percent in three years or 75 percent in five years, could be forced to pay a fine of $10,000 per violation. The legislation is currently in the Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Business Entities.

Bush: It’s time to crack down on prescription drug price gouging

bush 051618SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush called for an end to price-gouging tactics used by pharmaceutical companies during a press conference this morning in Springfield.

“In recent years, we’ve heard horror stories of prices of lifesaving drugs skyrocketing overnight, leaving those who need them to survive facing financial ruin,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “This isn’t just a problem for individuals who rely on these drugs to survive. Price gouging for prescription drugs is incredibly costly for consumers and taxpayers. When drug companies raise their prices, the state pays more.”

Bush is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 4900, which would ban price-gouging practices by prescription drug manufacturers and allow the attorney general to investigate price increases and take action if a drug company is found to have engaged in price gouging.

“By cracking down on outrageous price gouging by pharmaceutical companies, we have a chance to save taxpayer dollars while ensuring Illinoisans have access to the medication they often need to survive,” Bush said. “Not only is this the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.”  A federal study by the Government Accountability Office looked at 1,441 generic drugs and found that more than 300 had seen prices at least double between 2010 and 2015.

 

Biss reacts to gun dealer licensing compromise

SPRINGFIELD – Following the Illinois Senate’s passage of a compromise on gun dealer licensing, Senator Daniel Biss issued the following statement:

“It is long past time to improve our nation’s inadequate gun laws to save lives. This measure provides our law enforcement agencies more information about gun purchases,” said Biss (D-Evanston). “This long-overdue regulatory action should be the first step toward comprehensive gun safety reform.”

Castro works to expand Illinois Human Rights Act

Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is pushing for stronger protections for Illinois workers.

House Bill 4572 would expand the Illinois Human Rights Act to cover employers with one or more employees. The bill would give these employees a remedy under Illinois law for work-related discrimination and retaliation.

Currently, only employers with 15 or more employees are covered under the Act.

“Expanding the Illinois Human Rights Act is the right thing to do,” Castro said. “We have to ensure that every employee in the state has the same protections when it comes to discrimination in the work place.”

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