Prescription Drug Cost Cap Bill Fails In Committee in General Assembly

By Benjamin Cox on March 5, 2020 at 8:37am

A bill to cap prescription drug costs in the Illinois General Assembly has failed for the second time in 2 years. The House Prescription Drug Affordability and Accessibility Committee voted 8-5 against sending House Bill 3493 to the full House for a vote. The bill sponsored in the house by Democratic State Representative Will Guzzardi and co-sponsored in the Senate by Andy Manar would have given authority to a panel to review prescription drug costs and set upper limits of what could be paid for the drug. The cost threshold would be a brand name product that costs over $30,000 or has a price increase of $3,000 a year or more would be reviewed as would a bio-similar drug that wasn’t at least 15% cheaper than the drug it replicates, according to the State Journal Register.

Hundreds of people filed witness slips in favor of the legislation. Opponents to the bill said it would actually cause other drugs to rise in cost, details on how the review board would operate were too vague, and that the bill was unclear on how development costs into drugs played into the setting of upper limits. Others protested that too much authority would be given to a governor-appointed review board.

Guzzardi and Manar have vowed to go back to writing another bill to get the rising costs of prescription drugs to come down.