Illinois lawmakers look to become second state to cap insulin costs at $100 per month

State Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is the sponsor of the bill. (Photo courtesy: Dave Dahl\WJBC)

By Illinois Radio Network

SPRINGFIELD -Illinois lawmakers plan to make Illinois the second state in America to cap the cost of insulin at $100 for a thirty-day supply.

Illinois lawmakers plan to get Gov. J.B. Pritzker legislation this fall that would make Illinois the second state to cap the consumer cost of insulin.

Emilija Irvin, a high school student from Downers Grove, said the cost of insulin to treat her Type 1 diabetes has increased exponentially, forcing her to revisit her plan to be a musician for fear that she would be without insurance and unable to afford insulin.

“Having a chronic condition can sometimes end up needing to be on the front of your mind and something that controls what you do,” she said.

She was joined by lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to promote legislation that would cap the cost of a thirty-day supply of insulin at $100 for the consumer.

“Those 1.3 million Illinoisans have watched the price of insulin in the United States surge,” Pritzker said.

State Sen. Andy Manar’s legislation mirrors a law enacted in Colorado this May. The measure specifically caps consumer out-of-pocket costs, leaving the additional cost to be sorted out between the manufacturers and insurance companies, many of which oppose the measure.

“How much would you pay to keep yourself alive?” Manar, D-Bunker Hill, asked. “How much would you pay to keep your children alive? I know the answer to that question. So do pharmaceutical companies.”

Colorado became the first state to cap the consumer price of insulin in May. Manar’s legislation is similar in substance to the measure signed into law in Colorado.

Officials at the Friday event said the cost of insulin has increased more 1,200 percent since the 1990s. According to estimates from GoodRx.com, the average cost of insulin for the average-sized person with Type 1 diabetes, is hundreds of dollars per month, although it suggests a number of ways to reduce that cost.

Opponents of cost controls on drugs have said it stifles innovation and forces insurance companies to pass on the higher costs to other policyholders. Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, the nation’s primary makers of insulin, listed their opposition to the bill.

If enacted, the cap would take effect in June 2020.

Illinois Radio Network can be reached at News@WJBC.com.

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