Senate approves plan to cap insulin costs

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Senate approved an initiative to reign in the cost of insulin for diabetes patients.

Senate Bill 667, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), 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.

“Illinois families deserves to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved ones do not have to choose between putting food on the table and buying their prescription medication,” Manar said. “The Senate just took a step toward making that a reality.”

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.

“For over a million Illinois residents, insulin is an absolute necessity. Without it, they will die,” Manar said. “Pharmaceutical companies are leveraging that fact in order to maximize profits. It’s time we hold them accountable.”

If it becomes law, the measure would make Illinois the second state in the country to cap insulin payments.

SB 667 now moves to the Illinois House for consideration.

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