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#insulin4all Petition Leads to Prescription Drug Pricing Bill for Indiana General Assembly

#insulin4all Petition Leads to Prescription Drug Pricing Bill for Indiana General Assembly

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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Hope Charters, Hoosier Living with Type 1 Diabetes
(317) 989-6342  hopekyra@gmail.com

PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING BILL SET FOR INDIANA GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEARING

House Public Health Committee Hearing, Wednesday February 6th, 3:30PM

Hoosiers Who Have Struggled to Afford Insulin and Physician to Testify

Last month, Hoosiers living with Type 1 diabetes delivered to the Indiana General Assembly a petition signed by over 500 people demanding that the House Public Health Committee hear a bill to establish a study committee on rising prescription drug prices. Their efforts have paid off. Committee Chair Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer has set the legislation, House Bill 1029, for hearing on Wednesday, February 6 th at 3:30 PM in the House chamber.

House Bill 1029, sponsored by Rep. Robin Shackleford and co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Davisson, Rep. Chris Chyung--and with the recent addition of new co-sponsor committee chair Rep. Kirchhofer--calls for an interim study committee to formally explore issues related to prescription drug price transparency by drug manufacturers in Indiana.

Petition supporters expected to testify at the hearing include Hope Charters and Sa’Ra Skipper, both Hoosiers living with type 1 diabetes, and Fort Wayne physician Dr. Alison Case. Statements from all three are included at the end of this release, and all are available for interviews before and after the hearing.

The petition supporting this legislation,  viewable online here, (with additional hard copy signatures delivered as well) pointed out that one in five Americans report not filling prescriptions or skipping their medicines each year because of the high cost.[1] One in four people 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.[2] 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.[3]

With many thousands of Hoosiers struggling to pay for the cost of prescription medicines they need for their health and survival, it is heartening to see the proposal for an in-depth study to move forward in the Indiana General Assembly.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT SPONSORED 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 before and after the February 6 th hearing.

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

[2]“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

[3] 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/

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