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Manar joins lawmakers, diabetes advocates in Joliet to demand lower insulin costs

Manar 101819JOLIET – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) gathered with fellow state lawmakers and diabetes health advocates in Joliet Friday to urge support for a new measure aimed at reducing the skyrocketing cost of insulin.

“Absurd insulin costs are making it nearly impossible for some individuals to afford the life-saving medication they need,” Manar said. “It’s time we take a stand on this issue and finally bring some relief for people who are being forced to pay exorbitant prices just to stay alive.”

Senate Bill 667, introduced by Manar in May, would cap out of pocket insulin expenses at $100 for a 30-day supply.

Manar was joined by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) and State Rep. John Connor (D-Lockport) to push for the legislation’s passage and hear from individuals who have been directly impacted by rising insulin costs.

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, 7.4 million of which require prescription insulin every day to survive. However, the increasing costs associated with the medication have led many patients to ration their supply or seek care outside of the country.

“Insulin is a life-saving prescription drug,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is outrageous that drug manufacturers are often placing profit before people. If they are going to utilize greedy profit schemes to make money off of this crucial medication, it is time for the state to intervene.”

The legislation would make Illinois just the second state in the country to cap out of pocket insulin expenses. Colorado became the first earlier this year.

The measure has also garnered the support of several advocacy organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Pharmacists Association and AARP.

“AARP Illinois supports this measure on behalf of our 1.7 million members, many of whom have told us about the hardships they face in paying for their prescription drugs,” said State Director Bob Gallo. “We commend Sen. Manar, Rep. Guzzardi, and other legislators for recognizing that everyday Illinois residents are having to make heartbreaking choices about whether to pay for medicine or other basic necessities with their fixed incomes. And we hope that SB 667 will be a stepping stone to getting further reforms that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for everyone.”

Manar expects to call the bill for a vote during the fall veto session.

Sen. Andy Manar

Sen. Andy Manar

48th Senate District

Years served:2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Chairperson); Education; Executive Appointments (Vice-Chairperson); Financial Institutions; Subcommittee on Capital (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Born November 15, 1975, in Bunker Hill; B.A. in History, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; past chairman of Macoupin County Board; married (wife, Trista), has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Avery Bourne
Sue Scherer