Throughout the pandemic, independent pharmacies across the country have helped patients continue receiving life-saving medication despite the obstacles our health insurance system offered them. Patients across Illinois deserve better access to their prescription drugs, and the choice to receive affordable medication at local pharmacies. These pharmacies serve as advocates for patients when insurance companies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) hide behind corporate red tape. Patients have had enough of these tactics and are demanding change.
Patients don’t want to be forced to go to large chain retailers instead of their preferred, trusted pharmacy. There are over 500 independent pharmacies that will be forced to close if patients continue to be steered to their competition, creating additional pharmacy deserts across the state. The best solution to controlling healthcare costs is through legislation targeting transparency from PBMs and allowing improved access for patients.
Senator Koehler’s Senate Bill 2008 is that solution for Illinois patients, and has received bi-partisan support. Senate Bill 2008 forces PBMs to be transparent, holding them accountable to the patients they are paid to serve. Multiple states across the country are passing similar legislation to control the millions of dollars of spread pricing that PBMs are stealing from taxpayers. And PBMs are unfortunately trying to blame pharmacy services administrative organizations, who assist pharmacies with negotiating contracts.