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Illinois bill could ban prescription drug price gouging

There is good news for Illinois residents who get generic and off-brand prescription medication as a bill looks to crack down on price gouging.

House Bill 3957 or the Pharmaceutical and Health Affordability: Restrictions on Manufacturers’ Amoral Behavior through Reasonable Oversight Act lays out the procedures and penalties for drug manufacturer’s who violate the state’s definition of price gouging.

The bill defines price gouging as “an increase in the price as 30% or more within the preceding year, 50% or more within the preceding 3 years, or 75% or more within the preceding 5 years.”

Blessing Health’s pharmacy director said the measure is a good first step for patients.

“It’s a great first step, very happy to see the legislature is making moves to prevent price gouging,” Robert Ritchey said. “This is one step in the overall process.”

Ritchey said national lawmakers are looking into other steps that could bring down the price of drugs.

“Many prices are set by pharmacy benefit managers, what we know as PBM’s. I think federal legislation is looking into that so that will be the second step probably for the state,” he said.

The bill has passed both chambers and awaits Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature. If it gets signed into law, the measure would go into affect January 1, 2024.

Source: WGEM