TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP SAYS SENATE VOTE ON GENERIC DRUGS GOOD FOR ILLINOIANS

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
May 7, 1999 (202) 467-5300

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), America's largest taxpayer watchdog lobbying group, today saluted the Illinois State Senate for passage of H.B. 2256, a bill that will streamline the state’s antiquated generic drug approval process.  After a heated debate, the Senate passed the bill by a margin of 45-12, sending the measure to the governor for his signature.  Thanking the Senate for its support of the bill, CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz issued this statement.

“This vote proves that both the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate clearly understand the importance of this bill to Illinois citizens.  The simple concept behind H.B. 2256 is to bring fair competition into the prescription drug market.  It will change the state’s archaic and unnecessary approval process for generics that currently costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year.  Introducing competition into the market will lower costs for consumers, helping every patient in Illinois, particularly the poor and the elderly, who often pay out-of-pocket for their prescription drugs.”

“Our members want to thank, in particular, Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) for his strong support of this legislation and for skillfully shepherding it through the Public Health and Welfare Committee and the full Senate.  His unwavering leadership, in spite of severe pressure generated from some brand-name drug companies, is to be commended.  Illinois citizens should be proud of his efforts.”

“CCAGW’s 21,000 members in Illinois hope the bill will immediately receive the governor's signature.  The sooner this legislation becomes law, the sooner Illinois citizens will have quick access to generic pharmaceuticals and their resulting healthcare savings. ”

CCAGW is a 600,000 member lobbying organization dedicated to enacting legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in government. 

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