Recently, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law American Diabetes Association-supported legislation capping monthly copayments for insulin at $30 for a 30-day supply.
House Bill 207 (HB 207) also includes an emergency refill provision that will allow people without an up-to-date prescription to get insulin immediately rather than waiting until they are able to get a refill authorized by a physician, as well as a provision directing the Utah Department of Insurance to issue a report that includes a summary of insulin pricing practices.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is encouraged that the Utah governor and legislature have put the more than 206,000 people living with diabetes in Utah at the forefront in this difficult time.
"Right now, Americans with diabetes are facing unprecedented financial challenges as the country responds to the coronavirus crisis," said LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Advocacy for the ADA. "The high cost of insulin can have devastating consequences, often forcing those living with diabetes to make hard choices that can lead to devastating health complications. Starting January 1, 2021, this new law will remove one of the burdens faced by many people with diabetes in Utah who need insulin to live. We are grateful to Governor Herbert and the Utah legislature, including bill sponsors Representative Norman Thurston and Senator Deidre Henderson, whose dedication to helping those with diabetes thrive made House Bill 207 possible."
"The diabetes community in Utah has won a major victory now that House Bill 207 has been approved. The new law provides several provisions that help to ensure that no one in Utah will ever have to leave the pharmacy without their insulin," said Representative Thurston.
"Diabetes in Utah is a growing concern. The costs of prescription drugs like insulin have skyrocketed in recent years. Many Utah residents with diabetes have been forced to limit their insulin use because they simply cannot afford to fill the prescription," said Timothy J. Staley, Utah Advocacy Chair for the ADA. "I am proud of our state for being at the forefront in taking legislative steps to help in combating this disease."
While this co-pay cap is a step forward in the fight for affordable insulin, the ADA recognizes that people with diabetes need relief now more than ever to stay healthy and out of doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and hospitals. To address the immediate needs of people with diabetes in Utah during the coronavirus pandemic, the ADA has urged Governor Herbert to eliminate all cost-sharing for insulin in state-regulated health insurance plans and revert to the $30 co-pay cap when the crisis passes. The ADA also urged state governors to ensure continuous access to health care for residents with diabetes who have lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
The ADA continues to be the driving force in federal and state efforts to ensure that insulin is affordable and accessible for all people who need it. Take action today at diabetes.org/advocacy/platform
If you are struggling to pay for insulin or know someone who is, the ADA has resources to help—visit InsulinHelp.org.