villa 051321SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to reduce drug waste and help families struggling to afford prescription drugs, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) advanced a measure out of committee Tuesday that would create a Prescription Drug Repository Program to redistribute unused prescription drugs to Illinoisans who need them. 

“There’s no reason unused prescription drugs should be thrown out or sit on a shelf past their expiration date when many Illinois families are struggling to afford critical prescription medications,” Villa said. “This legislation would help eligible families access redistributed prescriptions at no additional cost.” 

The Illinois Department of Public Health would oversee Villa’s Illinois Prescription Drug Repository Program (I-DROP), under which anyone could donate certain prescription drugs or necessary supplies to administer a prescription drug. These items would be redistributed to eligible individuals who have been prescribed the medication, but who can’t afford it. 

“As the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket, it’s important that we protect Illinois families by working to lower the cost of prescription drugs and finding alternatives to purchasing medication at market value,” Villa said. “Illinoisans should not have to choose between putting food on the table and affording their prescriptions.”

There is no one special interest group behind I-DROP; its advocates are individual physicians, pharmacists and patients from every corner of Illinois. State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) sponsored the I-DROP Act in the House, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and across the state have signed on to co-sponsor the measure.

House Bill 119 passed the Senate Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.