Sen. Steve Stadelman passes measure to give pharmacists leeway in providing low cost drugs

Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation that would allow pharmacists to tell consumers about less expensive options for prescription drugs was passed out of the Illinois Senate by state Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) Wednesday.

“A pharmacist should be able to tell you that $20 prescription could only cost you $8 if you pay by cash,” Stadelman said. “Needlessly charging Illinoisans more for their prescriptions by keeping them in the dark is not defensible.”

Senate Bill 1557 removes the so-called “gag rule” on pharmacists. The “gag rule” is usually a clause that is inserted into contracts by pharmacy benefit managers to prohibit druggists from telling patients they could save money on prescriptions by paying cash rather than using their health insurance, or using generic drugs.

“Unfortunately, Stadelman added, “your local neighborhood pharmacist can’t even tell you if there are cheaper alternatives available to you. By freeing them up, we can hopefully save people some of their hard earned money.”

The legislation passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Illinois House of Representatives. R.

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