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CHAMPAIGN - High prescription drug prices and accountability of the pharmaceutical industry topped concerns of Champaign residents during a town hall meeting Monday.

The meeting was hosted by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), and was cohosted by Protect Our Care Illinois, Champaign County Health Care Consumers, NAACP Champaign County, AARP Illinois and AFSCME. IMG 3747

Following an informational presentation from Protect Our Care representative Dan Rabbitt, Bennett and Manar opened the floor to Champaign County residents to raise their concerns, share their stories and ask questions about pending legislation in Springfield. 

Bennett and Manar, who championed capping insulin prices in the fall, are introducing a broad package of legislation aimed at lowering prescription drug prices and cracking down on the pharmaceutical industry.

“Senators throughout the state are working together to push for solutions to these issues by holding regional town halls to hear from constituents on the urgent need for state action,” Bennett said.

Bennett announced a new bill to that would prevent pharmacies from hiding drug prices among the 50 residents who attended.

Under Senate Bill 3060, pharmacies would be required to post a notice informing consumers that they may request current pharmacy retail prices at the point of sale and must also provide customers directly with the retail price of a prescription drug, both in writing and electronically prior to purchase.

“Retail prices at pharmacies generally bear no relationship to the actual market prices of the medications,” Bennett said. “Patients deserve to be informed on the price of their medication they intend to purchase so they can make an informed decision.”

Bennett expects Senate Bill 3060 to be heard in the Senate Licensed Activities Committee in the coming weeks.

Bennett encourages area residents to continue the conversation at his upcoming office hour with State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) on March 12. Bennett, Marron and their staff are available on the second Thursday of each month from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce (120 E. Sangamon Ave., Rantoul) to assist with constituent services.

To stay up to date on upcoming events Senator Bennett’s office is hosting and to keep informed on legislation he is sponsoring this spring, he urges residents to visit SenatorBennett.com.

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