High insulin costs addressed in proposed federal legislation

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 4:59 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For some diabetics, vials of insulin are like liquid gold. Not just in terms of how it keeps their diabetes in check, but the cost of the medication can be insurmountable.

Jonathan Chapin was diagnosed with the disease about a year and a half ago. He says he often had to resort to drastic measures to get his medication.

“I had people that I could borrow from,” says Chapin. “But that is kind of a weird thing in general. Borrowing medication from someone. My medication needs to be my medication, not your medication,” he says.

Unfortunately, Chapin is not unique.

While insulin just celebrated its one hundredth birthday, and there is no question it works in keeping diabetes in check, it has a drawback. The price of insulin has consistently increased over the years forcing patients to make some difficult decisions.

“Sometimes they need that money for a car bill, food or rent. It is sad they have to make that decision and choose not to use their insulin,” says Pharmacist Tida Watkins, who works for HOPES. “However, it just leads to other problems. They can get an infection, they can lose their vision,” she says.

Last week Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto along with the junior senator from Nevada, Senator Jacky Rosen, announced they are co-sponsors of major legislation impacting diabetics and the insulin that keeps them healthy.

“I am pleased to join my colleague Senator Rosen in the introduction of this bill today,” said Senator Cortez Masto.

The “Affordable Insulin Now Act” would cap the monthly charge for insulin to $35 dollars regardless of how much a patient uses. The bill would impact more than 250,000 Nevadans who are insulin dependent in our state.

“Anybody who needs access to medicines for their healthcare needs shouldn’t have to pay an exorbitant amount,” said Senator Cortez Masto.

In his State of the Union Address last week, President Biden said if the “Affordable Insulin Now Act” lands on his desk, he will sign it.

Copyright 2022 KOLO. All rights reserved.