The new limit on drugs is because of Medicaid cuts in Illinois. Lawmakers created it to stop people from abusing the prescription system. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley introduces us to a family in a life-or death struggle.
John Craig was diagnosed with chronic liver disease eight years ago. Only 15% of his liver is functioning. He takes 60-pills a day. Those prescription drugs are his lifeline, and now it's been cut off giving him little hope of survival.
"He has to have it or he is going to die."
It's a harsh reality that Margi Craig is dealing with. Her husband John's days are spent here in this chair. His liver disease puts him in so much pain, he can't move.
"Some days are worse than others, but it's always there."
"It's hard to see him everyday and there's nothing I can do for that. I can do everything else for him, but I can't help the pain."
Craig takes 14-pills, three times a day for his liver, not counting the 18-he has to take for other health problems.
"I just fight for my medicine to even live another month or another day."
Last week, he and his wife went to their pharmacy to stock up on their weekly meds. They were given four prescriptions, and were told the rest had to be paid for in cash.
"We had no clue."
The law states people can get more than four a month if it's approved by their doctor. It's something Craig's at-home nurse could take months.
"They have to send it in to the state as a special request and say why the prescription is needed. Then the state says, 'We say yes or we say no.'"
That would take time that this family simply doesn't have. The Craig's looked into other options, like disability. They were denied. They hired a lawyer and are hoping for a miracle.
"We just refuse to let him go anywhere. He's not going to leave us. Not for this. We're not giving up."
Local state Representative Chapin Rose (R) says the family is in a life-or-death situation.