Today U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) urged the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to hold a hearing on their bipartisan bill to address the skyrocketing price of insulin and help people with diabetes access the life-saving medication they need to survive.
The two lawmakers said that during the hearing they also hope to have pharmaceutical executives address Congress directly about high drug prices that are hurting many Americans.
Approximately 7.5 million Americans with diabetes rely on insulin every day to survive yet the average price of insulin almost doubled between 2012 and 2016—forcing some patients into the dangerous practice of rationing. And with just three insulin manufacturers in the United States, there is little incentive for these companies to lower their prices.
“The rising price of insulin has created an unsustainable situation for too many families,” wrote Sens. Smith and Cramer. “Congress must come together to provide immediate relief to those struggling to afford their prescription medications and ensure everyone has access to the medication they need to live full, healthy lives.”
In June 2019, Sens. Smith and Cramer introduced the Emergency Access to Insulin Act to bring down the cost of insulin and to hold insulin manufacturers accountable for excessive increases in the price of the life-sustaining medicine. The bill—announced in Minneapolis and introduced in remembrance of Minnesotan Alec Smith, who tragically passed away two years ago today after rationing his insulin—would provide emergency access to insulin for people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and across the country who can’t afford the skyrocketing price of the drug that they need to stay alive.
You can read full text of the letter here