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Discussion on high prescription drug prices

Some are stuck between paying for their prescription or putting food on their table.

Healthcare professionals we talked to said that is the reality for some and it can make the difference between life or death.

Friday Congresswoman Cheri Bustos met with local professionals in Peoria to discuss the issue.

The round table was about hearing ideas from people who are on the front lines. Prescription drug prices are driving healthcare costs up excessively across the country. This is forcing OSF and Unity Point Health to think outside the box.

“We have people leaving their doctors offices, with a prescription in their hands, not able to fill that,” said Bustos.

“Unity Point is one of a number of health systems that are founding members of Civica RX and our goal is to be able to produce generic medications to maintain an adequate supply for our hospitals and at an affordable rate,” said President of Methodist and Proctor Hospitals, Keith Knepp.

Another concern during the discussion was the cost of insulin.

“It’s been described as liquid gold now because of how expensive it is. The manufacturers of insulin know that if you are on insulin, you need insulin.” said Bustos.

One local mom, Cindy Ramos, knows this firsthand dealing with diabetes. At one point she was uninsured, and since she is insulin resistant, she was not sure what she would do.

“I had to make choices. They were some life choices,” said Ramos.

One suggestion brought up to cut prescription costs was more price transparency.

In the meantime, Michelle Sanders with Heartland Health Services said there is a website called Good RX. You print off a coupon and can get your prescription for a lower cost.

“I don’t like to make a whole lot of predictions, but we will pass legislation out of the House of Representatives, to bring the cost of prescription drugs and to bring down the cost of healthcare,” said Bustos.

Bustos said republicans and democrats are working together to address this issue.


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