SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Health insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations would not be able to rip off patients by forcing them to depend on overpriced prescriptions under a bill backed by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora.

“Insurance and pharmaceutical companies are lying to Illinoisans and making them overpay for life-saving medications,” Hernandez said. “In many cases, generic brand prescriptions are available for a fraction of the cost of name-brand prescriptions, and pharmaceutical companies and health insurance agencies are actively hiding that to pad their profit margins.”

Hernandez is sponsoring Senate Bill 1557, which prohibits pharmaceutical administrators from preventing their pharmacists from recommending cheaper generic drug substitutes to save patients money. The bill is in response to recent reports of administrators skyrocketing drug prices by barring the dispensation of generic replacements.

Often, these replacements can result in substantial savings for consumers. The FDA reports that a generic replacement which is equally effective as a name-brand drug costs on-average 85% less. In 2016, generic drugs saved the U.S. health care system $253 billion dollars. Patients are also almost three times as likely to continue taking their medicine if it is a generic they can regularly afford.

“This is just another incident in a long-string of incidents of big pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of their control over people for profit,” Hernandez said. “Patients must be able to afford their medication, and companies are actually hiding easy alternatives. This behavior is as shameful as it is destructive, but it is easily cured. My bill is part of that cure.”

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

83rd District

Springfield Office:
233-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002
District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848