Kildee Introduces Legislation to Lower the Cost of Insulin

Congressman Dan Kildee recently introduced legislation to lower costs for Michigan families by addressing the high cost of insulin.

Kildee’s legislation, the Affordable Insulin Now Act, would lower out-of-pocket costs for Americans with diabetes by ensuring no patient, regardless of their insurer, pays more than $35 per month for this vital medication.

Last year, Congressman Kildee introduced and passed similar legislation out of the U.S. House of Representatives. As a part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Congressman Kildee successfully passed a new law to cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for seniors on Medicare. Kildee’s Affordable Insulin Now Act would cap the cost of insulin to all Americans, regardless of their insurance coverage.

“Michigan families are paying too much for insulin. Last year, we made great progress by capping the cost of insulin for seniors, but our work isn’t done. No Michigander should have to struggle to afford this lifesaving medicine when it cost the big pharmaceutical companies less than $10 to produce,” Congressman Kildee said. “As a father of a type-1 diabetic, I have seen first-hand how the high price of prescription drugs like insulin affects families. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this legislation to make insulin affordable for everyone.”

Since Congressman Kildee first introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act last year, big pharmaceutical companies have faced pressure to lower their prices. Last week, Eli Lilly announced that it would cut the price of its insulin products, demonstrating the need for a federal law to cap the price of insulin.

In Michigan, one in 10 people have some form of diabetes. Insulin was discovered over 100 years ago. Since then, little about insulin has changed, but its price has skyrocketed. Americans pay over 10 times more for insulin than patients in similar high income countries and one in four Americans with diabetes have reported skimping on their prescribed medicine because of its cost.

Representatives Angie Craig (MN-02) and Lucy McBath (GA-07) are cosponsoring this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I know from personal experience that diabetics rely on their insulin like water,” said Tim McCarron, constituent from Genesee County. “While I’m fortunate enough to be among the lucky few with benefits that cover most of my insulin costs, millions across the country are saddled paying hundreds of dollars per month for their medicine. Congressman Kildee’s bill goes a long way toward helping ensure all diabetics, regardless of their coverage, have access to their lifesaving insulin.”

“The Affordable Insulin Now Act is essential for patients who rely on Community Health Centers,” said Phillip Bergquist, CEO of the Michigan Primary Care Association. “The lack of affordability of insulin is a major obstacle to patients with serious health concerns related to diabetes to get the treatment they need, and we thank Congressman Kildee for tackling this issue with his legislation.

“For far too long, drug company greed has forced millions of diabetics across the country to pay outrageous prices for the medications they need to survive,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Even when insulin vials only cost a few dollars to produce, drug companies have hiked the price to hundreds of dollars per month, forcing far too many people to ration insulin and skip doses altogether.”

“No one should suffer, go bankrupt, or die because pharmaceutical corporations are price gouging the insulin they need to survive. This bill is a critical step towards ensuring that insulin is affordable for everyone in America.” Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works. “This isn’t a partisan issue. Eighty percent of all Americans say drug prices are too high and Social Security Works thanks Congressman Kildee for acting to lower them.”

“The American Diabetes Association, the leading advocate for cost-sharing limits on insulin, is pleased to endorse the Affordable Insulin Now Act again this Congress,” said Lisa Murdock, chief advocacy officer for ADA. “The bill’s $35 monthly out-of-pocket cap on insulin for individuals with commercial insurance would be life-changing for the millions of Americans with diabetes who use insulin and do not benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare cap. This legislation is especially important for the one in four individuals with diabetes who report rationing their insulin due to increased costs.”

This legislation is supported by the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Michigan Primary Care Society, Protect Our Care and Social Security Works.

In related news, drug makers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, manufacturers of 90% of the insulin used by American patients, have all announced that they will slash the cost of insulin by as much as 78% by the end of the year.

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