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

Senator StadelmanSPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would allow pharmacists to tell consumers about less expensive options for prescription drugs was passed out of the Illinois Senate by State Senator 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, your local neighborhood pharmacist can’t even tell you if there are cheaper alternatives available to you,” Stadelman added. “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 House of Representatives.

Sen. Steve Stadelman

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34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Public Health; Revenue; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked as a news anchor/reporter for WTVO-Channel 17 for 25 years, In 2003, his coverage of the state's death penalty earned him an Associated Press award for Best Documentary.

Associated Representatives:
John M. Cabello
Maurice A. West II