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Warren County Lawmaker Calls Surging Insulin Prices a Moral Crisis

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Flickr/Creative Commons/Melissa Johnson
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As diabetics nationwide struggle to afford the insulin they need to survive, Kentucky lawmakers are working to provide some relief at the state level. 

The price of the two main insulin brands, Humalog and Novolog, has increased more than 1,000 percent since the late 1990s.  

A bill has been pre-filed for the 2020 General Assembly that would cap the co-pay for insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply. 

State Representative Patti Minter of Warren County whose teenage son is a Type 1 diabetic, is co-sponsoring the measure.  She spoke at a recent meeting in Bowling Green where diabetics shared their struggles.  Minter told the group that it's unacceptable for diabetics to ration their insulin or go without it due to the cost.

“That’s morally wrong when we know insulin costs about six dollars a bottle to manufacture and it’s marked up to $300 in many places," Minter stated.

The bill capping co-pays at $100 wouldn’t help those who are uninsured, but Minter says it’s a good first step.  Some lawmakers will also be pushing for a drug price transparency bill in 2020 that failed to clear the General Assembly this year.

Attorney General Andy Beshear filed lawsuits in May against the nation’s three largest insulin manufacturers.  Inflated insulin prices strike Kentucky hard with one in four residents considered diabetic.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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