AURORA, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, recently supported a measure to create a prescription drug repository program in Illinois, allowing for unused, unopened prescription drugs to be donated and distributed to patients.
“Each year, millions of dollars of unexpired medications are thrown away, creating not only a waste of critical goods but also causing potential environmental damage if disposed of incorrectly,” said Hernandez. “This session, we were able to pass a critical measure that will allow individuals and hospitals to donate safe, unused prescription drugs to go to people in need across our state.”
Hernandez was a co-sponsor of House Bill 119, which creates a prescription drug repository (PDR) program. The PDR program allows any person or healthcare facility to donate unopened, sealed medication or medical equipment in the original, tamper-evident packaging to participating pharmacies. Donated medication or medical equipment would then be distributed to eligible patients, with a priority for people on fixed incomes, uninsured or enrolled in public health care programs. The legislation also establishes safeguards regarding the donation and receipt of donated drugs, such as prohibiting the resale or repackaging of the donated drug. This measure received bipartisan support and was recently signed by the governor.
“Individuals should not have to compromise buying their necessary prescription medications because they are struggling to make ends meet,” said Hernandez. “The creation of the prescription drug repository is a common sense program that will reduce waste and play a critical role in the larger fight in reducing health care costs for Illinois families.”