SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Committed to ensuring his residents have access to affordable health care, state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, helped pass an initiative that would prevent the large prescription drug companies from price-gouging consumers on the most critical generic prescription drugs.
“Prescription drugs are not a luxury; they are a life-necessity,” said D’Amico. “Yet increasing prices are forcing families to have to decide between essentials like medicine and food. This bill is a recognition that the health of middle-class families and seniors living on fixed incomes must come before big corporate profits.”
D’Amico voted to protect consumers from prescription drug price spikes by passing House Bill 4900, which would prohibit drug manufacturers and distributors from price gouging essential medications classified as “generic”. The bill would empower the Illinois Attorney General’s office with special subpoena power to investigate prescription drugs that increased in price by 30 percent or more within one year, 50 percent or more within three years, or 75 percent or more within five years. The legislation excludes cost increases due to production or the appropriate cost of expansion of access.
The rising cost of prescription drugs has continuously been an issue for consumers. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, from early 2010 to mid-2015, more than 20 percent of generic drugs increased in price by over 100 percent. For example, in 2015, the Lannett Company more than tripled the price of terbutaline, a treatment for asthma and emphysema.
“No one should lose a loved one because they lost their insurance and can’t afford prescription drugs,” D’Amico continued. “Someone needs to force the big pharma companies to finally lower prices rather than continue to raise profits.”