U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) today visited the family-owned Illini Clinic Pharmacy in Silvis to meet with its staff and discuss how the Inflation Reduction Act, that she championed and secured key provisions in, will help thousands of Illinois’s seniors afford life-saving prescription drugs, her office said Friday.

Also, for the first time ever, this will allow Medicare to negotiate for lower medication costs, the release said.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth met Friday at Illini Clinic Pharmacy in Silvis to discuss prescription drug prices.

The Senator was also joined by a local community member, Rochelle Pharmacy owner Rupesh Manek, Community Pharmacy partner Dan Engelkens, Illinois Pharmacists Association President Garth Reynolds, AARP Illinois State President Al Hollenbeck, AARP Advocacy and Outreach Director Ryan Gruenenfelder, the Information and Assistance Program Coordinator of Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Judith Nzegwu, Rock Island Senior Center Senior Services Director Michelle Dyer, Rock Island County Senior Center Outreach Coordinator Amanda Martensen and CVS Pharmacist Alaina Hoffman.

“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 the Quad Cities know that Senate Democrats—without a single Republican vote—passed historic changes that will lower prescription drug costs for millions across the country,” she said. “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.”

Signed into law on Tuesday by President Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35-a-month for Medicare beneficiaries, which applies to some of the more than one million Illinoisans who 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, Duckworth’s release said.