Donate
T1International Statement on Pharma’s Attempt to Block Minnesota’s Insulin Bill

T1International Statement on Pharma’s Attempt to Block Minnesota’s Insulin Bill

Facebook Google LinkedIn Twitter

T1International is outraged, though not surprised, to see pharmaceutical companies once again put profit over human lives. On Tuesday, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) filed a lawsuit against the state of Minnesota to challenge the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act.

T1International Charity Ambassador Nicole Smith-Holt shared her frustration on Twitter: “Throwing up roadblocks to securing affordable insulin for the people of MN, haven’t they taken enough innocent lives? How many more bodies are they looking for? When are they going to realize we are not going to stop fighting?”

The passage of the new law, named for Alec Smith, Smith-Holt’s son who died at age 26 from rationing insulin, was a significant win for patients in Minnesota. It passed in April 2020, after months of hard work and difficult compromises made by #insulin4all advocates in Minnesota.

The law enables people with diabetes in Minnesota to access an emergency 30-day supply of insulin for a $35 copay. It also includes a plan to ensure more sustainable affordability for people with diabetes who are uninsured or underinsured, including those on Medicare and those with high copays.

The PhRMA lawsuit argues that the law takes property from the manufacturers “without just compensation,” as though the billions of dollars these companies extract from people every year, at the expense of their health and financial stability, is not an injustice that demands action. For the drug companies that produce insulin, the program that this law creates would amount to a drop in the bucket compared to their overall revenue. This lawsuit demonstrates the depravity of drug manufacturers that value profit above all else.

At Governor Walz's July 1st Briefing Update, Nicole spoke about the pharmaceutical companies and their last-minute lawsuit, saying that the industry is “putting profit over people and standing in the way of smart, workable solutions.”

“These are the same people who have driven the price of insulin up simply because they can,” Smith-Holt said. “…all Minnesotans should be disgusted with this attitude.”

In Minnesota alone, the families of two patients have come forward to share stories of loved ones who passed away due to insulin rationing. In addition to Alec Smith, Minnesota resident Jesy Sherer-Radcliffe passed away in 2019 at the age of 21. The Alec Smith Bill is a step in the right direction, setting a clear way to support those who are struggling and enabling a plan to work towards long-term solutions.

It is clear that the pharmaceutical industry can see only one thing - their bottom line. Pharma can be sure that patients will not give up now. We will not stop speaking out and we will not stop showing them the real price we pay for their greed. This fight isn’t over.

Related posts:

T1International Statement on Lawsuit to Overturn the Affordable Care Act

T1International Statement on Lawsuit to Overturn the Affordable Care Act

On November 10, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since it was signed into law in 2010, the ACA has provided critical protections to the diabetes community in the United States. Now, a group of 18 states led by Texas are arguing that a single change to the law passed as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has rendered the entire law unconstitutional, even though there is no evidence that this was an outcome Congress intended at the time. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Texas, the entire ACA could be ruled unconstitutional. Read more

James Elliott's Reflections on His Time as a Trustee

James Elliott's Reflections on His Time as a Trustee

T1International would not be where it is today without his dedication and commitment to the cause. We could not be more grateful for his contributions and his voice, which we know he will continue to use to shout loudly for and with people with diabetes everywhere. Read more

California’s SB852 Shows How States Can Use Their Power to Challenge Big Pharma

California’s SB852 Shows How States Can Use Their Power to Challenge Big Pharma

In a significant challenge to pharmaceutical companies, California passed SB852 in the State Assembly with overwhelming support (66-7) on August 31. The bill would allow the state to contract for or manufacture its own generic or biosimilar prescription drugs, and specifically names insulin in response to the demands of diabetes advocates searching for long-term solutions to the insulin price crisis. Read more

T1International Statement on Executive Orders

T1International Statement on Executive Orders

On Friday afternoon, President Trump released four executive orders intended to lower drug prices, including two targeted directly at lowering the cost of insulin for patients who rely on it. Despite his assertion that these orders are intended to “completely restructure the prescription drug market,” these orders will not do anything to fix the underlying cause of the insulin crisis in America. Patients will still need to wait months for the rulemaking process to run its course, and likely even longer after that if these orders end up in court. While T1International USA is glad that the administration has stated that making insulin more affordable is a priority, these orders miss the mark. We don’t need incremental bureaucratic steps as an election approaches - we need transformative change that will make our medicine more affordable now. Read more

Launch of U.S. State Legislative Guide for Insulin for All

Launch of U.S. State Legislative Guide for Insulin for All

T1International is pleased to introduce a new advocacy resource, the U.S. Legislative Guide for insulin for all: How States Can Make Medicines Affordable. The resource, developed in partnership with Public Citizen, outlines a variety of legislation that could help to make insulin more accessible and affordable. Read more

T1International Statement on Insulin Manufacturer's Responses to COVID-19

T1International Statement on Insulin Manufacturer's Responses to COVID-19

The best way for insulin manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to patient health would be for them to permanently lower their list price, which would make low-cost insulin easier to acquire and apply to every patient who needs it. Read more

T1International Statement on Lilly & Novo's ''Generic Insulin''

T1International Statement on Lilly & Novo's ''Generic Insulin''

Patient-led activism is working. Today Eli Lilly announced that in response to criticism of high prices, the company will sell a version of Humalog insulin for half price. We are pleased to see this result after continual and dedicated efforts by non-pharma funded patient advocates to ensure list price of insulin goes down. While half-price is an improvement, it's still an unaffordable price for so many, considering most people need at least 2 vials each month.
Read more

T1International Statement on Novo Nordisk and Sanofi Price Hikes

T1International Statement on Novo Nordisk and Sanofi Price Hikes

Sanofi and Novo Nordisk are celebrating the New Year with fresh price hikes on their decades-old insulin products. “Sanofi increased the price of its three main insulin brands by between 4.4 %- 5.2 % last week, while Novo Nordisk increased the price of its insulin products by just under 5% on Tuesday,” the Financial Times article said. Once again, shareholder profits will be increased on the backs of people with diabetes. Read more

Nicole Smith-Holt Statement on Eli Lilly Helpline Announcement

Nicole Smith-Holt Statement on Eli Lilly Helpline Announcement

I vow to continue to fight for the rights and lives of all people with diabetes. I am doing all this in honor of my son, Alec Raeshawn Smith. I invite Lilly to work with me and non-industry funded organizations like T1International so that we can find real solutions to ensure #insulin4all. Mr. Mason, I am still waiting to hear from you. Read more