New Prescription Drug Plan

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says the federal government has failed to help us with high prescription drug prices, so Illinois is stepping in.

Blagojevich says the state will create a web site and toll free number to allow Illinoisans to buy prescriptions directly from pharmacies and wholesalers in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The governor says the program will include 100 of the most commonly used brand medicines. Generic drugs won't be covered. Blagojevich says the state plans to contract with a Canadian company that will connect Illinois residents with a network of foreign pharmacies that have been approved by state health inspectors.

Blagojevich says Illinoisans should be able to take advantage of cheaper drug prices offered abroad. The governor's proposal ignores a federal ban on prescription drug imports, and critics including U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert say Blagojevich can't guarantee that those drugs are safe.

Illinois will be the first state in the nation to provide all us of access to Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.