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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 8, 2019 09:06 AM
From: Senator Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: Making Insulin Affordable
Soon I will introduce legislation to limit the out-of-pocket costs that health insurance companies may impose on their customers for insulin.

Frederick Banting, James Collip, and Charles Best discovered insulin in 1923. They sold their patent to the University of Toronto for $1, explaining that it was unethical to profit off of a lifesaving discovery and that insulin should be widely available to everyone who needs it to survive.

Approximately 30 million people have diabetes in America, and 7.4 million of them use insulin. While the cost to create a dose of insulin is about $4, insulin can cost patients up to $450 per month on average. This outrageous markup has resulted in 1 in 4 patients skipping lifesaving doses. It’s important to remember that insulin is not a drug that you can skip; without it, patients will die.

To ensure that all patients receive their insulin at an affordable price, my bill dictates that insurance companies must cover the cost of insulin to patients who need it and charge no more than $100 out of pocket per month. This amount will be adjusted for inflation annually and will be known as the default cap. Starting one year after the effective date of the bill and ongoing on an annual basis, the Secretary of Health and the Secretary of Insurance may agree to establish a consensus cap. If they agree to it, the consensus cap becomes the effective cap for a period of one year. The “consensus cap” shall be at least 90% of the previous effective cap and no more than 110% of the previous effective cap. Whenever the secretaries cannot agree to a consensus cap or choose to let their power lapse, the default cap will take effect.
Please join me in supporting this important legislation.

If you have questions about this legislation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Introduced as SB828