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Bipartisan bills intended to keep the cost of insulin down in Minnesota

A bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers announced a package of bills meant to keep the cost of insulin down.

Democratic Senator Matt Little of Lakeville said prices for the drug have been “immorally high” and, “Only three companies make up 96% of the insulin market volume in the U.S. When one of them raises prices, so do the others. The cost of a vial of short-acting Humolog rose 585% within 14 years. There is no good reason for these absurd increases.”

One bill would establish a long-term plan to keep costs down and allow the state Health Commissioner to hold insulin manufacturers accountable. Another would require transparency between insulin makers, pharmacies and customers.

Senator Little said he expects pushback on the proposals from insulin manufacturers.

In addition, Democratic Representative Michael Howard of Richfield introduced a bill that would allow struggling Minnesotans to get insulin prescriptions filled on a temporary basis.

The premise of which is simple,” he explained, “Never again, never again should someone lose their life simply because they cannot afford the insulin they need to survive.”

The Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act is named after a 26-year-old Minnesotan who died from diabetes in 2017 because he could not afford the insulin.

The bill would reimburse pharmacies through a fee on insulin makers.

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