diabetes presser 032823SPRINGFIELD – To ensure that Illinoisans in need of insulin have affordable access to the life-saving medicine, the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus is leading a measure to cap its price at $35. 

“It’s vital we make insulin more accessible to the people who need it,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “It’s past time to put people’s health ahead of financial gain.”

Building off their 2019 efforts to cap the price for a 30-day supply of insulin at $100, the Senate Democrats are spearheading a measure to cap the price at $35. Recently, drugmakers announced their new $35 threshold, leading Murphy – the chief sponsor of the bill – and her colleagues to enshrine the price into law in case the companies choose to raise the price in the future.

“This has the opportunity to provide much needed relief to many people in our state who rely on insulin to survive,” said State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea). “It is time for Illinois to lead the way in making healthcare more affordable and accessible for all.”

In addition to capping out-of-pocket insulin costs, the measure would also outline a plan to ensure that residents in urgent need of insulin are able to receive it in a timely manner.

“People with diabetes shouldn’t have to decide whether to purchase their medication or buy groceries – but many of them are in that position,” said State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). “Making this change affirms that health care shouldn’t be accessible to only the wealthy.”

Approximately 1.3 million Illinoisans have insulin-dependent diabetes. Insulin prices have continued to increase since the early 2000s, leaving many people to forgo the life-saving medication. The Illinois Senate Democrat-led measure would make insulin more affordable and accessible so no person has to choose between purchasing the medicine they need or putting food on their family’s table.

“People with diabetes feel like the disease impairs their life,” said Judy Johnson, an insulin-dependent Springfield resident. “A lot of people don’t take insulin because of the cost and the pain of poling themselves every day. I believe it is saving my life – I will keep taking it. But it needs to be easier for people to get.”

Senator Murphy expects to call Senate Bill 1559 this week.