LR 3128 – An Act To Save Lives by Capping the Out-of-pocket Cost of Certain Medications Approved by Legislative Council
AUGUSTA – Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) introduced an after-deadline bill that would cap out-of-pocket insurance expenses for insulin at a reasonable rate, regardless of how much insulin a patient uses. The legislation is still in draft form and the rate will be set during Heath Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services committee work after consideration of testimony from relevant stakeholders.
“The skyrocketing costs of insulin are simply unaffordable for too many Maine families, and no one should be forced to choose between life-saving medications and essentials like groceries or clothes for their kids,” said Gideon. “Many diabetics are rationing their insulin, putting themselves in a potentially lethal position, just to save money. It’s beyond time that insulin price gouging ends in Maine.”
Approximately 142,000 Mainers are living with diabetes today, and diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Maine. The average cost of insulin for treating type 1 diabetes in the United States nearly doubled over a five-year period, rising from $2,864 to $5,705 per person, per year.
“Despite a widespread recognition of this crisis, there has been no meaningful federal action to crack down on the runaway costs of insulin,” said Gideon. “We can build on last year’s success with our prescription drug reform package and continue to hold pharmaceutical and insurance companies accountable.”
The legislation received a 9-1 vote from Legislative Council and faces further action in the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee.