Rural, independent pharmacies may be getting some help from the state. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 465 this past Friday to regulate pharmacy benefit managers. According to bill sponsor Democrat Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, the managers have negotiated drug prices on behalf of insurance companies to drive up drug prices in order to rid the market of competition.
The new law will provide the first ever in the nation oversight of the pharmacy benefit manager position. WAND-TV in Decatur says that the position is largely unregulated and mostly manages public funds through the Medicaid program. By curtailing the lobbying of the drug prices, the law will look to give rural, independent pharmacies the ability to compete with large, chain-managed pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, and Wal-Mart so pricing remains fair across the board in order to keep from pushing costs off to consumers. The law goes into effect on January 1st.