MN Senate Republicans reveal plan to address skyrocketing insulin costs

They say it would start sooner and require manufacturers to provide it for free

WCCO Radio Newsroom
September 19, 2019 - 12:12 pm

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After a group of lawmakers broke off earlier this summer without a set solution to address skyrocketing insulin costs, Senate Republicans released their plan Thursday.

The proposal sent to the governor would allow any individual or family making under 400% of the federal poverty level to receive insulin for up to a year, with manufacturers providing it for no cost through patients' doctors. Patients would acquire an eligibility statement online through MNSure and bring it to their appointment. 

Sen. Eric Pratt says it's a better solution than the House Democrats that would provide emergency assistance for 90 days.

"Their plan focuses on being in crisis," he said. "We're trying to avoid as many insulin patients from being in crisis as possible."

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Quinn Nystrom, Minnesota chapter leader of #Insulin4All, said in a statement that they're ready to work together, but expressed concern that it doesn't provide emergency solutions or hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for "the crisis they created." Gov. Tim Walz expressed a similar concern of the latter before the plan was revealed, but Pratt says he's confident that requiring manufacturers to participate will be enough of a dent in their pockets.

"Their financial stake is to provide that product at no cost to the patient that qualifies for the Insulin Assistance Program," he said. "Depending on how many people apply for that that need it, that will determine what their cost is."

Senate Republicans say they hope to have it ready for patients by Jan. 1 and are preparing to schedule a hearing.

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