SPRINGFIELD (Illinois Capitol Bureau) – Governor Pritzker signed a bill today capping the out of pocket costs of insulin to $100 for a 30-day supply.
Lawmakers and advocates hope this is a stepping stone toward lowering costs for other medications in the future.
Diabetes affects people from all walks of life, not discriminating against those who can afford medication at unconscionable costs and those who cannot.
Many like Megan Blair struggle with debt from the soaring cost of insulin.
“I actually have insulin hooked to me, going through me every single hour and every single minute of the day,” she said.
The price cap will only apply to insurance program regulated by the state, meaning anyone under federal health insurance will still face high prices from providers.
Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said this law will help thousands of Illinois residents.
He just hopes Congress will pass a similar plan to help everyone else.
“The forces that fight things like this are numerous and well-funded,” he said. They have armies of lawyers and lobbyists, but we have each other and that’s how we got this bill passed.”
The law also requires the Illinois Department of Insurance to examine insulin pricing practices and deliver policy recommendations to the General Assembly to prevent overpricing of insulin in the future.
“I just want to see everyone be able to take their medications because personally I’ve been there – where I had to decide, am I going to take this insulin today or am I going to wait till tomorrow?” Blair said.
Eighth-grader Josie Edlesfson said no one should have to worry about paying for a drug that is crucial to staying alive.
“It looks like I’m fine on the outside, but on the inside I’m really not,” she said.
She hopes this law will inspire other states to lower costs for prescriptions.
Most of the provisions in this law will go into effect next January.
But Pritzker said work on the insulin pricing reports for lawmakers will start immediately.