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House Passes Legislation To Lower Cost Of Insulin

Today, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) voted for legislation to lower insulin costs for American families. The Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would ensure that individuals pay no more than $35 for a monthly supply of insulin, passed in the House with all Democrats and a handful of Republicans voting in favor.

“Today in the richest country on earth, Americans ration insulin – a drug they need to live – because they cannot afford it,” said Beyer. “Insulin has existed for decades and costs a fraction of its selling price to make, but the costs have risen sharply to the point that it is literally killing people. Today Democrats took action to ensure that insulin is affordable for those who need it, at a cost of no more than $35 per month. This is an important step to lower health costs for the American people, and we remain focused on passing more legislation to address drug prices.”

The average cost of insulin rose by 54 percent between 2014 and 2019, creating an affordability crisis for Americans with diabetes. Americans currently face an average price of $98.70 for a unit of insulin — ten times higher than in other wealthy nations. One in four Americans who rely on insulin has been forced to ration doses due to high prices, a last resort with potentially fatal consequences. 

The Affordable Insulin Now Act will require private health insurance plans to cover insulin, limiting monthly cost-sharing to $35 or 25 percent of a plan’s negotiated price – whichever is lower.  It also requires Medicare prescription drug plans to limit cost-sharing for insulin to $35 per month. This legislation comes as House Democrats continue working to advance comprehensive reform addressing the high cost of prescription drugs.