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Hoosiers with Diabetes Petition Indiana General Assembly to Study Drug Pricing

Hoosiers with Diabetes Petition Indiana General Assembly to Study Drug Pricing

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For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Hope Charters, Hoosier Living with Type 1 Diabetes (317) 989-6342
Sa’Ra Skipper, Hoosier Living with Type 1 Diabetes (517) 819-0947
Fran Quigley, People of Faith for Access to Medicines (317) 750-4891

HUNDREDS PETITION INDIANA GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO STUDY PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING

Hoosiers Who Have Struggled to Afford Insulin and Hoosier Physicians Lead the Advocacy; Available for Interviews

****For Immediate Release******

Hoosiers living with Type 1 diabetes today delivered to the Indiana General Assembly a petition signed by over 500 persons demanding that the House Public Health Committee hear a bill to establish a study committee on rising prescription drug prices.

The petition was delivered to House of Representatives Public Health Committee Chair Rep. Cindy Kirchofer and all of the committee members. Hoosiers who have struggled to afford prescription medicines, in particular insulin, are available for interviews, as are Hoosier physicians who see patients who struggle with medicines’ cost.

The petition,  viewable online (with additional hard copy signatures delivered as well) states:

Many thousands of Hoosiers are struggling to pay for the cost of prescription medicines they need for their health and survival. For example, one in four persons with diabetes who are dependent on insulin are forced to ration the medicine due to its ever-climbing price. The same vial of insulin that once cost less than $30 can now be priced as high as $300--without any change in the formula.[1] New research shows that a vial of insulin can be manufactured for as little as $5, and the formula has been the same for decades.[2]

One in five Americans report not filling prescriptions or skipping their medicines each year because of the high cost.[3]Hoosiers who are forced to go without prescribed medicines are risking severe health damage, up to and including death.

It is time for Indiana to follow the lead of other states that have passed bipartisan legislation to require transparency in prescription drug pricing.[4] State Representative Robin Shackleford is introducing legislation in Indiana that calls for a study of drug pricing transparency, and other legislators may be proposing legislation aiming to lower prescription drug prices, so we call on Representative Kirchofer, as chair of the health committee, to hold a hearing on those bills and advance them to passage.

Let the people of Indiana be heard on this life-and-death issue!

SPONSORS OF THE PETITION

  • T1International: advocating for access to affordable insulin and supplies for people with type 1 diabetes around the world
  • KOI#insulin4all: the Kentucky-Ohio-Indiana chapter of T1International

STATEMENTS

All of the statements below are available for quotation, and all of these individuals are available for interviews.

Hope Charters, West Lafayette, Indiana:

As a person living with Type 1 Diabetes, I haven't always been able to afford my prescriptions every month. Insulin isn't an optional medication. I would die without it. I've had to beg clinics to give me free samples, get insulin from other diabetics, and use patient assistance programs. It's important that lawmakers pass legislation to address medication costs, especially life-saving medications like insulin that have skyrocketed in price over the past two decades. Living with a chronic condition that could cost you over $1,000 per month without insurance is a struggle financially, mentally, and emotionally. Medications should be affordable for all who need them.

Sa’Ra Skipper, Indianapolis, Indiana:

Living with Type 1 Diabetes the last 18 years has been tough. Especially in recent years with the increase in the price of insulin, I have had to ration my doses. I need insulin to sustain life. For a monthly supply of insulin (with insurance from my full time job), I could pay my car note 3 times. It is imperative for lawmakers to pass legislation that will bring transparency to the cost of insulin. Lives have been lost because people cannot afford the medication they need to live.

Alison Case, MD, Fort Wayne, Indiana:

As a primary care physician I have seen both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics struggle to cover the costs of insulin and often go without any at all to make ends meet.It is frustrating to know as a provider that despite my best efforts, patients will become sicker or even die because they cannot afford to pay for medications, the cost of which I cannot even explain since pricing information is kept behind closed doors.It is time to make this information available to all Hoosiers.


[1]“Desperate Families Drive to Black Market Insulin,” NBC News (April 25, 2017), https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/desperate-families-driven-black-market-insulin-n730026

[2] Ed Silverman, “Insulin Prices Could be Much Lower and Drug Makers Would Still Make Healthy Profits,” STAT (September 25,2018), https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2018/09/25/insulin-prices-profits-diabetes/

[3] The Commonwealth Fund, “Trends in U.S. Health Coverage,” (September 2017), https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/surv...

[4] Center for State Rx Drug Pricing, “Comparison of State Transparency Laws,” https://nashp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/TransparencyChart_-6_29_2018.pdf

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