August 16, 2022

Duckworth, Durbin Tout Democrats’ Prescription Drug Price Reductions at Central Illinois Family-Owned Pharmacy


[RIVERTON, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited the family-owned Curry’s Family Pharmacy in Riverton to meet with its staff and discuss how the Inflation Reduction Act, that they both championed and secured key provisions in, will help thousands of Illinois’s seniors afford life-saving prescription drugs and how, for the first time ever, it will allow Medicare to negotiate for lower medications costs. The Senators were also joined by Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPA) students, IPA President Garth Reynolds, owner of several independent Illinois pharmacies Garry Moreland, AARP Advocacy and Outreach Director Ryan Gruenenfelder and AARP Illinois Executive Council Gregory Scott. Photos from the visit are available here.

“Every time I hear from an Illinoisan who is facing the unbearable decision of either paying for their lifesaving prescription drugs or paying for rent, the same frustrating question comes to mind: How are we still allowing Big Pharma to have such a stranglehold on our country?” said Duckworth. “So it’s important working families in Central Illinois know that Senate Democrats—without a single Republican vote—passed historic changes that will lower prescription drug costs for millions across the country. I’m particularly proud that we’re taking on Big Pharma by empowering Medicare to negotiate directly for the price of prescription drugs—lowering and capping costs for seniors across our state and helping make sure that those who need lifesaving drugs are able to afford them.”

“For too long, Americans have been forced to decide between their medications and other basic necessities needed to survive,” said Durbin. “In fact, we pay an average of three to four times more than patients in other comparable countries for the same drugs, many of which were developed with our tax dollars. I’ve heard too many heartbreaking stories from Illinoisans who were unable to take their medications as prescribed because of the cost. The Inflation Reduction Act is for them. This legislation will allow Medicare to negotiate on behalf of seniors to lower their prescription costs and cap on seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs. Democrats have delivered for the American people with this historic bill – and countless lives will be saved because of it.”

Signed by President Biden moments ago, the Inflation Reduction Act will cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35/month for Medicare beneficiaries, which applies to some of the more than one million Illinoisans that have diabetes. The IRA also requires drug companies to offer a rebate when the companies increase the price of their medications higher than the rate of inflation. In Illinois, 59,000 Medicare seniors pay more than $2,000/year on prescription drugs and the IRA would cap all Medicare seniors’ annual prescription drug prices at $2,000 per year (approximately $170 per month). The IRA will also ensure that Medicare seniors have access to free—and potentially life-saving—vaccines.