Insulin price cap measure heads to governor’s desk

Mike Seals - April 13, 2021 10:43 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill to help Oklahomans be better able to afford their insulin will soon be on the governor’s desk after receiving final passage from the Senate Monday. House Bill 1019, by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Ardmore, and Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, caps the price for a 30-day supply of insulin to $30 and $90 for a 90-day supply for each covered prescription. Currently, copays are based on individual insurance plans.

“Approximately 200,000 Oklahomans have Type I diabetes, requiring daily usage of insulin. Unfortunately, because of continually increasing prices, many diabetics ration their insulin or go without, putting their health and lives at further risk,” Simpson said. “This is a commonsense approach that has already been approved in several other states. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to profit off of life-sustaining medicines, like insulin. I applaud my legislative colleagues for fighting to improve the health of our fellow Oklahomans, especially those with Type I diabetes.”

Simpson has long advocated for Oklahoma’s diabetic community after losing his granddaughter to complications related to Type 1 diabetes.

More than 450,000 Oklahoma adults suffer from diabetes with over one million more having prediabetes according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Oklahoma, giving the state the fourth highest age-adjusted diabetes death rate in the nation. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and early death—all of which is preventable with proper management.

“All Oklahomans with diabetes should be able to purchase life-saving insulin without forgoing other bills or stretch it out to less than their recommended dosage,” Worthen said. “I believe House Bill 1019 is a step in the right direction to providing affordable insulin to these citizens, and I am very pleased that the bill was supported by so many of my colleagues in the Legislature.”

Under HB 1019, the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner will be authorized to enforce the price cap. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk.

 

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