SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Big pharmaceutical corporations jacking up the costs of generic prescription drugs could face serious financial penalties following legislation backed by state Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, which just passed the State House of Representatives and Senate with strong bipartisan support.
“Right now, due to price gouging from big prescription drug manufacturers, there are countless Illinois families forced to make heartbreaking decisions between paying their heating bills and rationing prescriptions for their kids,” Buckner said. “Black and Brown communities especially are feeling the brunt of unfair pricing practices. This measure will crack down on corporations lining their pockets with the money of low-income and underserved Illinoisans.”
In an effort to crack down on prescription drug price gouging and lower costs of healthcare in Illinois, Buckner recently passed House Bill 3957. This measure creates the Pharmaceutical and Health Affordability: Restrictions on Manufacturer’s Amoral Behavior Through Reasonable Oversight Act.
It clearly defines and outlaws price gouging of generic prescription drugs, and requires that Central Management Services and the Department of Child and Family Services report potential instances of this practice to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution. If convicted, courts can impose penalties of up to $10,000 per day for each violation of the act.
“Healthcare is a human right, and when groups of people profiteer by manipulating human rights, it’s time for our legal system to step in and stop them,” Buckner said. “What we are witnessing is nothing short of low-income patients being taken captive by a system that is supposed to keep them healthy. Profits are not more important than people. I have faith that the Attorney General will teach big corporations that lesson.”