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Manar announced new legislation to create the Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set prescription price limits

SPRINGFIELD – Over half of Illinois residents are burdened by the high cost of health care and prescription drugs, according to a new Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS), commissioned in January 2020 by Protect Our Care Illinois and Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The survey found that 54% of respondents are either “worried” or “very worried” about affording the cost of prescription drugs, and 28% of Illinois adults have rationed or gone without medication due to the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication.

“These findings signal the degree to which the prescription drug industry is failing to serve the health of patients, while those responsible face zero consequence,” said State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “It puts the onus on every legislator to be a part of a solution that delivers serious transparency and accountability to an industry besieged by profiteering and exploitation of working families.”

The data was announced today at joint press conference with Healthcare Value Hub Director Lynn Quincy, Senator Manar, State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), and advocates from the Protect Our Care Illinois coalition. Guzzardi and Manar also announced new legislation, House Bill 3493, to establish the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which would review data on drug prices and set new payment limits for state-regulated plans.

“This new consumer health survey confirms what we have known for a while: people in Illinois are being crushed by the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and they are looking to state government to address this huge issue. We have to do something now to provide relief to Illinois families,” said Rep. Guzzardi, who chairs the House Prescription Drug Affordability and Accessibility Committee. “When it comes to tackling drug costs, 86% of survey respondents endorsed the creation of Prescription Drug Affordability Board to examine the evidence and establish acceptable costs for drugs – and I’m committed to bringing that type of oversight to Illinois.”

The findings revealed that both liberal and conservative Illinoisans showed high support for legislative solutions to address price gouging and bring heightened transparency to the prescription drug industry.

Further details on the survey’s findings regarding prescription drug affordability can be found here.

Further details on the survey’s findings regarding health care affordability can be found here.

Additional findings:

  • 49% of adults who needed health care in the prior 12-months encountered one or more cost-related barriers to getting the care they needed.
  • Of the adults sampled in the survey, those who live in Greater Illinois (outside of Cook and the Collar Counties) experienced the highest health care affordability burden (59%) compared to the rest of the state.
  • 35% of Cook County adults got the care they needed but struggled to pay the resulting medical bill and 12% were unable to pay for necessities like food, heat, or housing.
  • 87% of adults support legislation to authorize the attorney general to take legal action to prevent price gouging or unfair prescription drug price hikes.
  • 87% of adults support legislation to require drug companies to provide advanced notice of price increases and information to justify those increases.
  • 87% of adults support legislation to standardized prices for drugs to make them affordable
  • 86% of adults support legislation to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to examine the evidence and establish acceptable costs for drugs.