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Manar plan to cap insulin costs heads to Governor’s desk

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SPRINGFIELD – With Gov. Pritzker’s signature, pharmaceutical companies would have a harder time lining their pockets on the backs of Illinoisans with diabetes.

 

The General Assembly today approved Senate Bill 667, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), which 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.

“Thanks to countless grassroots advocates and the brave individuals who stepped up and shared their testimonies, the Illinois General Assembly just sent a clear message that our state will no longer allow pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of Illinoisans living with diabetes by charging exorbitant prices for lifesaving insulin medication,” Manar said.

SB 667 also requires the Department of Insurance, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to issue an "insulin pricing report" to the public that details findings on insulin pricing practices and recommendations to control and prevent overpricing of prescription insulin drugs.

“The votes in the House and Senate are proof that through grassroots action, you can effectuate positive change in state government against pharmaceutical companies, PBM’s, and insurance companies that have armies of lobbyists in this building watching out for their profits,” Manar said. “When ordinary people speak up and demand change, we can make it happen.”

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, 1 in 4 patients with diabetes are forced to ration their insulin due to soaring costs.

The measure will make Illinois the second state in the country to cap insulin payments.