Colorado has become the second state in the country to clamp down on the skyrocketing cost of insulin, a necessary hormone that diabetics take daily to help regulate their blood sugar levels.
Around 300,000 Coloradans diagnosed with diabetes will soon gain access to cheaper insulin under a new law Governor Jared Polis signed Tuesday.
House Bill 21-1307 creates an insulin affordability program, which goes into effect in 2022. People with an insulin prescription will have prices capped at $100 for an entire month’s supply, regardless of the amount of insulin each individual needs. The state already caps copayments on insulin under a 2019 law.
State Democrats pushed the bill, citing the drug’s unaffordability as a public health crisis. A 2020 report from Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office found insulin prices more than doubled between 2011 and 2018, with average out-of-pocket payments reaching $816 per year.
“The stories and surveys captured by the Department staff reveal the painful consequences felt by many Coloradans and their families, including that approximately 40 percent of all survey respondents reportedly using insulin are forced to ration their use of this life-saving product at least once a year,” Weiser said in the report.
Individuals need to have a valid insulin prescription and be a Colorado resident to be eligible for the affordability program.
The bill also provides access to an even more discounted supply of insulin in case of emergency. If a diabetic has less than a week’s supply of insulin available, they can get a one-time emergency prescription for $35.
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