ROCKFORD, Ill. – As part of his efforts to reduce healthcare costs, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, is backing legislation allowing unused prescription drugs to be donated and distributed to patients.
“With many people unable to afford and access the medication they need, it is unacceptable to allow us to waste any of our medical resources,” said Vella. “We need to make it easier for people to get the medicine they need, and allowing unused medication to be donated is a good step towards that goal.”
Vella is co-sponsoring House Bill 119, which would create the Prescription Drug Repository (PDR) program. Under the PDR program, any person or healthcare facility can donate unopened, sealed medication or medical equipment in the original, tamper-evident packaging to participating pharmacies. The donated medication or medical equipment is then distributed to eligible patients at a low fee. Aside from increasing accessibility to needed medication, the PDR program would also help deal with the various problems that unused medications cause. These include environmental pollution from improper disposal and potential health risks if those who have not been prescribed a medication gain access to it.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance that healthcare has in our community, and it is clear that we need to efficiently utilize what we have rather than wasting it,” said Vella. “I will continue to look for common-sense solutions that will ensure that those who need medication and other medical resources are able to get it.”