SPRINGFIELD – To ensure people with gluten intolerances aren’t unknowingly consuming gluten in the medications they take, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) sponsored a measure to require oral drugs to carry proper warning labels.

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“Restaurants and grocery stores have increased their gluten-free offerings and have become far better equipped to properly label and handle items for people with dietary restrictions,” Morrison said. “People with Celiac and other gluten intolerances should feel just as protected when visiting a pharmacy.”

Under the legislation passed Thursday, any prescription or over-the-counter drug that contains gluten but is not labeled as such would be considered misbranded. Because most medications do not contain gluten, consumers are often under the assumption none do unless otherwise specified. Therefore, if a drug does contain gluten and is not accurately labeled, a person with Celiac or other gluten intolerances could take it and be surprised with harmful health issues.

Celiac disease affects nearly three million American who must follow a fully gluten-free diet. Many more struggle with gluten sensitivity.

“The measure will make it easier and safer for people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to make informed purchases of necessary medications,” Morrison said. “We expect the food we purchase to be properly labeled, so why shouldn’t we expect the same from the medications we take?”

House Bill 279 has now passed both chambers.

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