Contributed article by the Illinois Senate Democrats.
SPRINGFIELD – An initiative to reign in the soaring cost of insulin for diabetes patients moved forward today.
Senate Bill 667, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), would cap co-payments for insulin at $100 per month for all patients regardless of the supply they require. The cap would only apply to commercial insurance plans regulated by the state. The legislation was approved 15-3-1 by the Senate Insurance Committee.
“For over a million Illinois residents, insulin is an absolute necessity. Without it, they will die,” Manar said. “Pharmaceutical companies are leveraging that fact in order to maximize profits. It’s time we hold them accountable.”
The price of insulin has drastically increased in the United States in the past several years. According to a 2016 analysis, the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013.
1.3 million Illinoisans are living with diabetes and rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Price increases have left many of them struggling to pay for the drug and at risk of deadly consequences.
According to a study by the Yale School of Medicine, one in four patients with diabetes are forced to ration their insulin due to soaring.
If passed, the measure would make Illinois the second state in the country to cap insulin payments.
“We’re very pleased with the action of the committee today. This is the first step in the public debate here in the Senate,” Manar said. “Ultimately, it’s important to know that this passed committee because of the individuals around the state that spoke up when this bill was filed because of what’s happening to them and their families due to the skyrocketing costs of insulin. Their voices were heard today.”
Manar expected to present the legislation to the full Senate later this week.