Illinois governor JB Pritzker has signed a new law this week that will set a cap of $100 on a 30-day supply of insulin.
A statement from the governor’s office said that roughly 1,300,000 adults are affected by diabetes in Illinois alone, and noted that the cost of insulin has become unimaginably high for many people from low-income backgrounds. In the past, Pritzker’s office has cited data suggesting that some insulin brands have increased their prices from $40 in 2001 to about $289 now.
Health care is a right for all, not a privilege. That is why I signed legislation which will cap out of pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply. pic.twitter.com/c9DO5pOmyx
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) January 24, 2020
“Health care is a right for all, not a privilege and that is why I am so proud that we created an insulin price cap that successfully puts patients above profit. As we work to address the high cost of prescription drug prices that are burdening millions all across our state, this new law is an essential step in fulfilling our promise to put state government back on the side of working families,” the statement read.
One in four people with Type-1 diabetics has reported that they have been forced to underdose their insulin due to the high cost, according to KFVS in Illinois. There have even been cases where some diabetics lost their lives after skimping on their insulin to save money.
The pricing mandates will go into effect immediately, but other provisions in the law may take longer.
Illinois is the second state in the US to implement a law placing a cap on insulin prices. Colorado passed a similar bill back in May of last year.
The scientists who discovered insulin in 1921 sold their patent to the University of Toronto for $1, because they did not want a life-saving discovery to become unaffordable. However, over the years, pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk have gotten involved with the production of insulin, which has allowed them to entirely set the price.