Kennedy introduces bill to address insulin prices

Staff Report

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., introduced the Ending Pricey Insulin Act to address skyrocketing insulin prices on April 15.

Sen. John Kennedy

The Ending Pricey Insulin Act would make the price of insulin more affordable for Louisianians and Americans with diabetes, according to the news release.

Three insulin producers control 99 percent of the U.S. market, and the price of the drug tripled between 2002 and 2013 alone, according to a news release.

In 1996, a one-month supply of Humalog insulin cost $21. By 2019, that price had soared to $275 — a 1,200 percent increase.

Kennedy moved to have the Senate pass the legislation by unanimous consent, but lawmakers blocked his motion. The Senate could vote on the bill at a later date.

“The free market works wonders when it is truly free, but not when a few drug giants collude to hurt patients,” Kennedy said.

“These soaring prices have real consequences for Louisiana’s insulin users.

“I introduced the Ending Pricey Insulin Act to help give millions of Americans access to this crucial drug, and I hope my fellow lawmakers will help bring a little logic back to the distorted insulin market,” Kennedy said.

The Ending Pricey Insulin Act would cap the out-of-pocket costs of insulin to $50 for a 30-day supply for individuals enrolled in all health plans.

The legislation would cover uninsured people as well. Programs covered under the bill include Medicare, Medicaid, high-deductible health plans, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, veterans’ health plans and TriCare plans.

The legislation also includes a retroactive clause that ensures any out-of-pocket cost above $50 that an individual pays after the bill’s enactment will be reimbursed.