Petition update

Tennessee lawmakers want to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 per month - HB1931/SB1939

Richard Garrett
Clarksville, TN, United States

Feb 5, 2020 — 

Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, and Rep. Jason Hodges, D-Clarksville, announced Tuesday their bipartisan bill would cap insulin prices from the manufacturer to the pharmacy, insuring that diabetics without health insurance would pay no more than $100 for the drug. Anyone with insurance would almost certainly pay less.

Similar bills have been proposed by Rep. Vincent Dixie, D-Nashville, and Sen. Katrina Robinson, D-Memphis, but these bills also require the government to investigate “insulin pricing practices” and make recommendations to “prevent overpricing.”

During a brief press conference on Tuesday, Hill and Hodges said they were motivated by the rising cost of insulin, which is among the most widely-used life-saving drugs in America. Insulin costs only a few dollars to make, the lawmakers said, and yet diabetes patients are often "price gouged" for hundreds of dollars a month.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that’s wrong,” Hill said. “It’s just very very very wrong and totally unacceptable. And, at the end of the day, the ultimate goal of this legislation is to make sure that no Tennessean with diabetes has to choose between insulin and groceries.”

All of these Tennessee bills follows a slew of similar efforts to cap insulin costs in other states. Last year, Colorado capped insulin co-pays at $100, and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month signed a new law that capped out-of-pocket costs at $100.

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