Price of insulin has increased 555 percent over the last 14 years
(May 22) – Governor Polis signed Rep. Dylan Roberts’ bill to reduce the price of life-saving insulin for people with diabetes in Colorado.
“For Coloradans living with Type 1 Diabetes, insulin is essential to their survival – it is the same as oxygen. The skyrocketing cost of insulin is outrageous and it is literally putting people’s lives at risk,” said Rep. Roberts, D-Avon. “With this new law, Coloradans will no longer be forced to choose between this life-saving and life-sustaining drug and their other expenses.”
One-in-four type-1 diabetics report rationing their insulin due to the high cost of the drug.
HB19-1216 caps the total co-pay that patients will pay for insulin to $100 per one-month supply, regardless of how much insulin is being dispensed. This is down from an average out-of-pocket costs of $600-900 per month, which Coloradans currently face.
“This law is a significant step in trying to solve the much larger problem of prescription drug pricing and will make a significant difference for Coloradans living with diabetes and their families,” continued Rep. Roberts.
Rep. Roberts has been an outspoken advocate for Coloradans living with diabetes since arriving at the state capitol.
Over 420,000 Coloradans have diabetes and an additional 20,000 Coloradans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was also in attendance at the bill signing. In addition to the co-pay cap, the law also directs the Colorado Attorney General’s office investigate business practices, organization, pricing, and data of pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurance carriers, and any other entity that influences insulin costs and create a report that explores possible legislative solutions. The report will be submitted to the governor, the commissioner of insurance, and the judiciary committees of the House and Senate in 2020.
The annual medical cost related to diabetes in Colorado is almost $4 billion. Almost 18 percent of that cost, roughly $700 million, is for prescription insulin to treat diabetes.
The cost of insulin rose by 45 percent between 2014 and 2017 and by over 700 percent over the last twenty years while the actual product of insulin has not changed in any significant way since 1996.
Gov.Polis also signed Rep. Roberts’ bill that expands the types of locations that have automated external defibrillators. HB19-1183 encourages any person that owns, operates, or manages a public place to place functional automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in sufficient quantities to ensure reasonable availability for use during perceived sudden cardiac arrest emergencies.