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Measure to cap cost of insulin sweeps through House unanimously

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A measure to control the high cost of insulin in Kentucky cleared the House on Tuesday.

House Bill 95, sponsored by Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, would cap the cost of insulin by mandating prescription insulin cost no more than $30 per 30-day supply.

"The price of insulin has nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, even though the cost of production has remained relatively stable," Bentley said. "As a Type 1 diabetic, I understand firsthand how scary it can be when you can't afford your medication. We need to ensure those that need this lifesaving medication can always access it. This bill is meant to keep people healthy, keep people productive and decrease the cost of complications related to diabetes. 13 other states have already passed similar measures, and it's time for Kentucky to do the same."

While presenting the bill on the House floor Tuesday, Bentley stated that people often have to choose between paying their rent or buying insulin due to how expensive insulin can be, despite the cost to manufacture insulin being $3.69 to $6 per vial.

"If I was paying cash for my insulin, if I didn't have the insurance I have, my insulin would cost me $12,000 a year," Bentley added.

The bill has more than 60 House co-sponsors, including Rep. Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, whose son uses insulin. "No one should lose their sight because they don't have access to something that costs $6 a bottle to manufacture," she said.

Minter urged her House colleagues to approve the bill by a unanimous vote, which they did, 95-0.

A similar bill won unanimous passage in the House last year, but the session was cut short by COVID-19 before the Senate could act.

HB 95 now heads to the Senate.

According to the American Diabetes Association, Kentucky has more than 531,000 adults with diabetes, or 14.5% of the adult population, and another 1.1 million adults with pre-diabetes.

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