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Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

Representing New Haven, Hamden & North Haven

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Looney and Duff Applaud Committee Passage of Bill to Cap Insulin Costs at $50

HARTFORD – Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) applauded passage by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee of Senate Bill 1 to cap the cost of insulin prescriptions at $50, the lowest cap in the country. The legislation passed in a bipartisan vote and will now move to the state Senate for a vote.

"Too many Americans are faced with the heartbreaking decision of choosing whether to put food on the table or to pay for their insulin," said Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven). "This is unacceptable and that's why Senate Bill 1, which will cap the cost of insulin at $50 a month, is a priority for the Senate Democratic Caucus. No one should have to choose between receiving the medication he or she needs to survive or causing grave harm by taking less than the prescribed daily dose."

"According to the AARP, Americans with diabetes face insulin prices that average more than $5,000 per year," said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). "The rising cost of medicines like insulin is an issue that patients across the country are facing and here in Connecticut we decided to make it a Senate Democratic Caucus priority for this legislative session. Patients should not have to struggle to afford their medications and by passing this bill, we hope to reduce the that burden on residents across Connecticut."

The bill, SB 1, contains several provisions to help diabetes patients and their families afford insulin. They include:

  • Capping insulin costs including for all insulin and diabetes supplies at $150/month total. This would be the toughest cap in the country.
  • - Insulin is $50 per 30 day.
    - Non-insulin drugs (glucose) is $50 per 30 day.
    - Devices/equipment is $100 per 30 day.
    - Insulin + devices is $100 per month.
  • Insurance companies must cover the cost of emergency insulin up to 3 times a year for their policyholders and everyone will have access to emergency insulin if they go to a pharmacist.

Bill language was released in February following an announcement of the bill by the state Senate Democratic Caucus in January. This proposal is priority number one for Senate Democrats for the 2020 legislative session. It is also priority No. 1 for the thousands of Connecticut residents suffering from diabetes, struggling to afford life-saving insulin due to outrageously high prices.

This timely proposed legislation comes as excessive Insulin costs are severely impacting Connecticut's diabetes patients. According to Health Care Cost Institute, the cost of insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, then doubled from that from 2012 to 2016. According to the AARP, "Americans with diabetes, the majority of whom are older adults, face insulin prices that average more than $5,000 per year." Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in Connecticut. This proposed legislation will save lives in Connecticut, ensuring the 11.4 percent of state's population with diabetes, and 36.5 percent with prediabetes, can afford Insulin without having to adopt the unsafe practice of rationing their medicine.

Across the country, state governments are grappling with bringing down insulin costs. According to the AARP, last year Colorado passed legislation to cap out-of-pocket cost for insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply. According to a CNN report, Virginia's House of Delegates passed legislation preventing insurance companies from charging co-pays over $30 for a 30-day insulin supply, Tennessee lawmakers introduced a bill to ensure patients do not have to pay over $100 for a 30-day supply of the drug and Illinois passed a bill capping Insulin costs as well.

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