Illinois lawmaker pushes drug companies to list prices - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois lawmaker pushes drug companies to list prices

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HERRIN (WSIL) -- A group of lawmakers in Washington, D.C are making a push to force drug makers to list prices in their advertisements. 

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, is sponsoring the legislation that requires transparency in those ads. 

"It's one step forward about doing something with drug pricing," Durbin said in an interview on Wednesday. 

Durbin said there are studies that show people specifically ask their doctors for drugs they've seen on TV. 

"There's a lot of information in those 60 seconds and they talk as fast as they can, but they never tell you how much they cost," Durbin said. 

Durbin said, on average, an American sees about nine television ads every day for pharmaceutical products. 

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including President Donald Trump, support this legislation to force pharmaceutical companies to list their prices, but pharmacists and doctors are not on board. 

"I don't think it will do what it's intended to do, which would be to make drug manufactures reduce pricing," Pharmacist Ben Calcaterra said. 

Calcaterra is a pharmacist at Logan Primary Pharmacy in Herrin. 

He said if this legislation passes, it could possibly change a patient's mind about their medication when they see the sticker price. 

"All this is going to do is put a subjective price that has no barring to the patient and could dissuade a patient from getting the therapy that they truly deserve," Calcaterra said. 

Calcaterra said showing the prices on the advertisements does not mean that's what the patient would pay. 

"So the price you actually see in these ads are not the price that the patient will actually see reflected to them," Calcaterra said. 

Those prices could be reduced by rebates, copayment programs and coupons from the insurance companies. 

"I think a pharmacist is going to be against this bill because the only thing that is going to come out of this is to dissuade a patient," Calcaterra said. 

Although Durbin said he hopes this bill will reduce drug prices, Calcaterra thinks otherwise. 

"The true end-of-the-day story is, will this truly affect the drug prices," Calcaterra asked. "I do not think this bill will have an ultimate affect on drug prices."

Click here for more information on the legislation. 

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