The high cost of prescription drugs has some people avoiding the pharmacy. Senator Durbin joined doctors at OSF Children's hospital of Illinois today on efforts to keep medicine costs down.
Senator Durbin's bill, called the "Drug Price Transparency in Communication Act," has several components. It would require companies to tell you exactly how much a prescription costs at wholesale, right in their advertisement, and companies would have to be upfront about how much these drugs cost. Senator Durbin also thinks the ads on TV have to go.
Senator Durbin said, "They can tell me the stories and often do, of what is happening with drugs they counted on for the lifetime when the prices are running out of control."
Stephen Hippler, a physician tells a story about one woman who couldn't afford her medication. "She had to make a choice. Feed her family, fixing her roof, caring for basic needs or taking her medication," Hippler said.
"What's the net result of this? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois tells me the number one driver in premium costs for health insurance...the cost of prescription drugs." Senator Durbin said.
Senator Durbin also co-sponsored another bi-partisan bill called the, "Creates Act,' which aims to make generic drugs available more quickly. This could help cut drug costs significantly.
According to Senator Durbin, Generics that are just as effective, and a heck of lot cheaper, but too many times the prescriptions are being written and filled for these expensive name brand drugs," Durbin said. Senator Durbin also believes the ads drive up the cost of the drugs. "What's going on? Why are so many drugs being advertised on television? Billions of dollars are being spent," Senator Durbin said.
Physicians say it is important to have a conservation with your doctor about the cost of drugs during your visit. Ask ans see if there are cheaper options you can go with.