Let Hoosiers be Heard on Prescription Drug Pricing!

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Many thousands of Hoosiers are struggling to pay for the cost of prescription medicines they need for their health and survival. For example, one in four persons with diabetes who are dependent on insulin are forced to ration the medicine due to its ever-climbing price. The same vial of insulin that once cost less than $30 can now be priced as high as $300--without any change in the formula.[1]

New research shows that a vial of insulin can be manufactured for as little as $5, and the formula has been the same for decades.[2] One in five Americans report not filling prescriptions or skipping their medicines each year because of the high cost.[3]  Hoosiers who are forced to go without prescribed medicines are risking severe health damage, up to and including death.

It is time for Indiana to follow the lead of other states that have passed bipartisan legislation to require transparency in prescription drug pricing.[4] State Representative Robin Shackleford has introduced legislation in Indiana that calls for a study of drug pricing transparency, and other legislators are proposing legislation aiming to lower prescription drug prices. So we call on Senator Charbonneau and Representative Kirchofer, as chairs of the health committees, to hold a hearing on those bills and advance them to passage.

Let the people of Indiana be heard on this life-and-death issue!

[1] “Desperate Families Drive to Black Market Insulin,” NBC News (April 25, 2017), https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/desperate-families-driven-black-market-insulin-n730026

[2] Ed Silverman, “Insulin Prices Could be Much Lower and Drug Makers Would Still Make Healthy Profits,” STAT (September 25,  2018), https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2018/09/25/insulin-prices-profits-diabetes/

[3] The Commonwealth Fund, “Trends in U.S. Health Coverage,” (September 2017), https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/surveys/2017/feb/trends-us-health-coverage-gains-and-gaps

[4] Center for State Rx Drug Pricing, “Comparison of State Transparency Laws,” https://nashp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/TransparencyChart_-6_29_2018.pdf