murphyheadshotBy State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines)

Thousands of Illinoisans depend on insulin to keep them alive. However, the market is dominated by a small group of big pharmaceutical companies that have been accused of charging too much for their insulin products.

That is why I co-sponsored Senate Bill 667, a bill from Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) that requires pharmaceutical companies to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for qualifying diabetics at $100 for a one-month supply.

I am proud to say that the legislature passed the bill and Governor Pritzker signed it into law. Good news for diabetic patients, to be sure.

But not long after we passed the bill, one of the industry players ran a full-page ad in the Tribune, addressing the problem of insulin costs and offering a solution: limiting the monthly cost of prescription insulin to less than $100. The ad failed to mention that the cap is in fact a requirement under the law I co-sponsored.

In reality, pharmaceutical giants caused the insulin access problem in the first place by charging greatly inflated prices. They had a choice to relieve the financial burden on people with diabetes and their families, and instead, they chose to keep charging through-the-roof prices. For years, they chose to put their gargantuan profits over the desperate needs of so many patients.

Corporations pat themselves on the back, touting their charity and compassion without acknowledging the real motivation behind their forbearance: hard-fought legislation. I feel I must remind these companies that they could have capped insulin costs voluntarily at any time. Instead, they chose to continue gouging patients until the passage of SB 667 forced them to stop.

Although I am grateful to see more Illinoisans able to afford their life-saving medications, I can’t help but think that the people of Illinois deserve the truth—not corporate propaganda.

And the truth is that SB 667 is just the start of an effort to curb Big Pharma greed. During session this spring, I plan to introduce other initiatives designed to cut the cost of prescription medicine for Illinois consumers, including a bill to prohibit “Pay-To-Delay,” when pharmaceutical companies pay off generic drug manufacturers to delay the sale of much cheaper generic drugs, enabling the big companies to continue charging patients exorbitant amounts for many life-saving medicines. Schemes like these—which put consumers’ health at risk for financial gain—must come to an end, and I don’t trust corporations to make that change voluntarily.

The $100 monthly insulin cap is very good news for Illinoisans with diabetes. Now we must expand this effort to rein in Big Pharma and ensure that affordable prescription drugs are available to all. No Illinois family should have to choose between accessing their medications and paying for food or rent.

Murphy Signature 200w

 

 

 

Laura M. Murphy

State Senator, (D) 28th District

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
880 Lee St. Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL 60016

 (847) 718-1110