Rep. Demmer Introduces, Co-Sponsors Legislation to Lower the Cost of Health Care and Prescription Drugs

Springfield – State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) is introducing and co-sponsoring two pieces of legislation aimed towards lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs.

“The rising cost of health care and prescription drugs is one of the biggest issues facing the people of Illinois,” said Rep. Demmer. “I believe we can enact some fairly common-sense solutions that increase transparency and encourage competition to lower the cost of care and prescription drugs. HB 4822 and HB 5510 do just that. I look forward to supporting these two pieces of legislation, and I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to support them as well.”

House Bill 4822 (HB 4822), introduced by Rep. Demmer, would create the Preserving Access to Affordable Drugs Act. If enacted, HB 4822 would outlaw the anticompetitive practice of brand name prescription drug companies from entering into agreements with generic drug companies that delay the entry of generic drugs into the marketplace. Essentially, brand name manufacturers are paying generic manufacturers to not sell generic drugs once a brand name patent ends, which artificially inflates the price of prescription drugs. This legislation would speed up the entry of generic drugs in to the market and would lower drug prices by increasing competition between generic and brand name drug companies.

House Bill 5510 (HB 5510), introduced by Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago and co-sponsored by Rep. Demmer, would create the Prior Authorization Reform Act. Before a hospital clinician can prescribe a medication or perform a surgery covered under an insurance policy, they must receive approval from the insurance company, which is a process known as prior authorization. In some cases, this process leads to the delay of medical care and increases compliance costs for hospitals and medical facilities. HB 5510 would increase transparency to the prior authorization process and would establish timelines for insurance companies to respond to clinicians’ authorization requests, which would speed up the delivery and lower the cost of care.

HB 4822 has yet to be assigned to a substantive committee and HB 5510 is awaiting a hearing in the House Human Services Committee.