SPRINGFIELD — Democrats in the Illinois House are pushing a package of bills they say would help control the spiraling cost of prescription drugs. Republicans, however, are arguing that the entire issue of prescription drug costs is beyond the scope of state government, and that some of the Democrats’ proposals could actually end up costing taxpayers and making lifesaving medications less available to people in the state. The package of bills is largely based on recommendations from Families USA, a national consumer health advocacy group based in Washington that has been working with lawmakers to develop the bills.Those bills call for regulating some drug prices in much the same way the state regulates utility rates, taxing drug price increases that exceed the rate of inflation, and requiring drug companies to disclose more information about their prices.One bill by Rep. Anna Moeller, an Elgin Democrat, would create a mechanism for the state to become a licensed wholesaler of cheaper drugs from Canada.”People in Illinois are being crushed by the high cost of essential medicines,” said state Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat who chairs the House Prescription Drug Affordability and Accessibility Committee.At a hearing Friday in Chicago, Illinois lawmakers heard stories… Read full this story
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