We are gratified that the District Court for the District of Minnesota dismissed PhRMA’s challenge to the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act. The Alec Smith Act provides a critical safety net for Minnesota residents who are struggling to afford the price of their insulin, and as our amicus brief in the case made clear, patients are already using the emergency insulin safety net provision of the bill. We know this battle might not be over, but it’s clearer than ever that the protection the Alec Smith Act offers to patients who are being exploited by Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi must be a primary concern for the courts going forward.
Nicole Smith-Holt, Charity Ambassador for T1International and mother of Alec Raeshawn Smith:
“It's exciting that the court has ruled in our favor, but the decision will not stop me from fighting for what is right. I will not stop fighting until every single person who needs to buy insulin to stay alive can do so without financial burden. Access to affordable insulin is a human right and far too many people are denied the right to a happy, healthy life because they simply cannot afford it. Alec's Law is a step in the right direction, and we know that it has saved lives and will continue to save lives.”
Elizabeth Pfiester, Executive Director of T1International:
“The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act passed because of the tireless efforts of advocates in Minnesota. While we are pleased that the court has dismissed this challenge to Alec’s Law, our efforts will not stop with today's decision. We have seen time and time again that the pharmaceutical industry will stop at nothing to keep raking in the profits, even if it means taking lives and destroying families. We, the T1International community, will continue to fight for #insulin4all until every person who relies on insulin to survive is able to get it at an affordable price because our lives depend on it.”
Nathan Loewy, patient:
"Today's ruling in the lawsuit over Alec's Law will have a direct impact on all Minnesotans living with diabetes today and in the future, to include myself, my wife, and my son. While I am satisfied with this decision, I realize this law is not the only action needed, and my family and I will continue to advocate for change that will benefit the patient first instead of PhRMA profits first."
Barnett (Bud) Rosenfield, Supervising Attorney with MMLA and the Minnesota Disability Law Center:
"We are extremely pleased with the court's decision, which preserves the availability of low or no-cost insulin to people who have diabetes in Minnesota. Given the current and ongoing challenges in obtaining critical health care, MidMinnesota Legal Aid and the Minnesota Disability Law Center remain committed to protecting our clients' rights and advocating for access and improvements to the programs and supports they need."
Wayne Turner, Senior Attorney at NHeLP:
“NHeLP will continue its work at the state and federal levels to combat soaring drug prices. There is no justification for price gouging by pharmaceutical companies. For people with diabetes, access to insulin is literally a life-or-death issue.”