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Illinois enacts new law ensuring life-saving treatment to children with PANDAS

Sen. Connelly meets with a group from the PANDAS Network in May advocating for children with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

Thanks to legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) and signed into law on July 18 by Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois is now the first state in the nation to require all individual and group plans of health insurance to cover life-saving treatments for children who suffer from PANDAS disease (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal).


“PANDAS affects 1 in 200 children throughout the United States. That’s a large number of children who weren’t guaranteed the necessary treatment,” said Sen. Connelly. “No child should have to suffer, and I am proud Illinois chose to lead the way in getting medical treatment to kids who need it.”


House Bill 2721 was introduced in response to a near-deadly incident in Lombard when 8-year-old Charlie Drury’s diagnosis of strep throat evolved into a severe and common mental disorder in children known as PANDAS, which can be cured by a specialized vaccine or medically-advised treatments. The new law mandates that insurance companies must provide coverage for the treatment of PANDAS and pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS).


In honor of Charlie’s story, the new law will be known as “Charlie’s Law.” Sen. Connelly urges legislators in other states to follow in Illinois’ footsteps and introduce Charlie’s Law in their own state, further increasing awareness about the effects and treatment of PANDAS in children.


House Bill 2721 goes into effect immediately.

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