Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA), Angie Craig (D-MN), and Dan Kildee (D-MI) introduced legislation that would cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $35 per month, lowering drug costs for hardworking families who are currently paying high costs for insulin and other diabetic treatments. The Affordable Insulin Now Act would enact a critical drug pricing reform long championed by stakeholders dedicated to addressing the skyrocketing cost of insulin – and provide Congress with a commonsense, widely supported vehicle to enact meaningful drug reform to lower the price of prescription drugs for millions of Americans. This legislation is a companion measure to legislation introduced by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock in the Senate, which has also been cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Insulin must be affordable and accessible for every citizen who needs it,” said McBath. “Tragically, that is not the case for so many Americans across the country, including many right here in my own district. I am proud to work with my colleagues and fight to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, because no American should have to make the choice between paying their rent or paying for their insulin. By capping the price of insulin at $35 per month, this legislation takes a much-needed step towards making this lifesaving drug affordable for every American.”
“Every day, thousands of Minnesotans and millions of Americans struggle to obtain potentially life-saving drug treatments due to the skyrocketing cost of insulin, which has more than doubled in the past few years alone,” said Craig. “Right now, Minnesotans are rationing their treatments and risking their own lives simply because Congress cannot take meaningful action to lower the cost of insulin. Today, I’m proud to partner with my colleagues to reverse that trend and provide relief to working Americans who are already struggling to keep up with rising prices.”
“Michigan families and seniors are paying too much for insulin. No one should have to choose between taking their medication as prescribed and putting a roof over their head. At a time when Big Pharma is making record profits, Congress must do more to lower costs,” said Kildee. “As a father of a type-1 diabetic, I have seen first-hand how the high price of prescription drugs like insulin affect families. That’s why I’ve introduced new legislation to make insulin affordable for families and seniors.”
Costs to treat diabetes and other life-threatening ailments have skyrocketed in recent years, and some estimates state that diabetics spend around $6,000 a year for insulin alone.
According to the Health Care Costs Institute, insulin prices nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016, with the average price for a 40-day supply of insulin increasing from $344 to $666. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diagnosed diabetes total $327 billion yearly, and the American Diabetes Association has asserted that diabetics account for $1 of every $4 spent on health care in the U.S.
The legislation is also supported by a number of drug pricing advocates:
“The American Diabetes Association, the leading advocate for an insulin out-of-pocket patient co-pay cap, is excited to endorse the Affordable Insulin Now Act introduced by Representatives Angie Craig, Dan Kildee and Lucy McBath today,” said Lisa Murdock, the ADA’s chief advocacy officer. “The bill’s $35 monthly out-of-pocket cap on insulin could be life-changing for the millions of Americans with diabetes who use insulin. This legislation is especially important for the one in four individuals with diabetes who were forced to ration their insulin during the COVID-19 pandemic due to increasing cost.”
"This bill is an important step towards making insulin affordable for everyone in America. We commend Reps. Craig, Kildee, and McBath and their colleagues for listening to the people who elected them and taking on the pharmaceutical corporations' greed,” said 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 that Congress must act to lower them. This bill is a critical step forward in protecting Americans from the criminally high prices that pharmaceutical companies charge."