Rhode Islands two US Senators are teaming up on a series of bills that aim to reduce prescription drug costs, particularly when it comes to insulin.
Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are calling on Senators to vote on a measure that would cap the price of insulin co-pays at 35 dollars. There is a similar bill in the Rhode Island state legislature that would cap it at $40.
“We can’t let the cost of prescription drugs continue to be a barrier to good health. For too long the pharmaceutical industry has overcharged Americans and dictated sky-high prices for life-saving prescription drugs that people rely on,” said Senator Reed. “The federal government must take needed steps – including capping out-of-pocket insulin costs and granting Medicare the authority to negotiate prescription drug prices – in order to put more money back into the pockets of hardworking American families, seniors, and businesses. We have put forth a series of measures that will hold drug companies accountable for skyrocketing drug prices and lower the cost of health care for everyone.”
“Pharmaceutical companies are hiking insulin prices just because they know people with diabetes will go to lengths to find a way to pay for the lifesaving drug. The current trajectory is not sustainable for seniors living on fixed incomes,” said Senator Whitehouse. “We can fix this once and for all by capping out-of-pocket monthly insulin costs at $35. While we’re at it, we need to get seniors the best possible drug prices across the board by enabling Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers.”
Right now it is estimated that there are about 93 thousand people in the state that have to deal with diabetes. Those are the cases that we know about. However the American Diabetes Association estimates that there could be as many as 23 thousand more cases that have been undetected.
The average price for a dose of insulin in the US is approximately 100 dollars. In Canada by comparison it is between 10 and 15 dollars.
So far no votes have been scheduled on the Senators proposal.
(Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)