In the midst of the U.S. presidential election and with Medicare constantly in the news cycle (1), one state has made a big step toward more affordable medication for their citizens as insulin cost was recently capped in Colorado.
Starting this January, Colorado residents with diabetes will be able to get their monthly dose of insulin for no more than $100. Gov. Jared Polis (2) signed a legislation that would cap insulin’s cost and made Colorado the first state in the U.S. to do this.
As it is a life-saving drug, the lawmaker deemed it necessary for it to be available for all. It should be noted that the new legislation doesn’t directly change the price of insulin but instead limits co-payments for a 30-day supply under private insurances to $100.
“Today we will finally declare that the days of insulin price-gouging are over in Colorado,” the Democratic governor said at the signing ceremony (3).
Additionally, fellow democratic Rep. Dylan Roberts who co-sponsored the bill said in front of the Denver Post (4) that Colorado’s residents will pay “a couple of cents per person, per month,” more for insurance to cover the new requirement.
This measure had become necessary since the prices of insulin were quickly rising beyond the capabilities of many people suffering from diabetes. The problem is properly laid out in the text of the bill (5) where it’s pointed out that insulin prices have risen an absurd 555% over the last 14 years and that’s with inflation taken into consideration. This meant that, depending on their insurance, many Colorado residents had to pay between $600 and $900 a month for insulin which is a life-saving drug.
To further drive the point home, a recent Yale study discovered that 1 in 4 people are underusing insulin because they couldn’t afford it (6).
In other news, Colorado has also passed legislation that authorizes the state’s health policy and financing department to develop a plan for importing prescription drugs from Canada (7). Such a plan would require federal approval, however, so it might be a while before it goes in effect.