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In an effort to reduce the high cost of insulin for the nation’s diabetic population, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he would vote on bipartisan legislation “soon” in Congress, Reuters reported.
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On June 22, Senator Gene Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Insulin Bill, which, if passed, would help curb the cost of insulin and how much it costs those in need. Referring to the proposed legislation, Schumer said, “The cost of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years, and the insulin act will make insulin costs more affordable by limiting this life-saving drug to $ 35 per month.” . “I will put this bipartisan legislation on the Senate floor soon,” he said.
In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, Sens. Shaheen and Collins said, “This legislation is the result of good faith negotiations and inputs from lawmakers, lawyers and experts.” It is vital that Congress act quickly.
Sense. Shaheen and Collins have been working on a wide insulin bill for a couple of years. In March, the House of Representatives approved a bill to limit out-of-pocket prices or drugs to $ 35 / month and to regulate list prices for insulin manufacturers through incentives.
Three companies – Sanofi SA, Eli Lilly and Co. And Novo Nordisk – currently accounts for about 90% of the insulin produced in the United States, according to the American Action Forum.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 130 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 28.7 million people are diagnosed with diabetes (8.5 million are undiagnosed) and about 8.4 million of them rely on life-saving medicine to treat their chronic condition.
According to Reuters, the average cost of insulin by Americans is about $ 23 per month. However, according to a 2021 IQVIA drug pricing study, one in five insured people pay more than $ 35. According to Shaheen and Collins, limiting the cost of medications prevents patients from rationing insulin, extending their budget to cope with it, or making difficult personal decisions to continue using the drug.
However, although Schumer promised to bring the insulin act to the Senate vote soon, ratifying it would be a tricky task this year. 10 Republicans, including Collins, will support the bill along with all 50 Senate Democrats. Only 12 Republicans voted in the House for an insulin price bill in March, with some claiming that The Hill has a problem with any legislation that regulates price.
In the Democratic Party and in the wake of a tight re-election campaign this year, Georgia’s Democratic Senator Rafael Warnock is proposing his own insulin legislation that limits the cost of insulin to diabetics at $ 35. Additionally, Democrats are still hoping for a reboot of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) program or some kind of broader spending package that includes insulin and other drug pricing limits.
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