Insulin Affordability Workgroup provides progress update
Members of the Insulin Affordability Workgroup, a bipartisan group of three Representatives and three Senators, met on Dec. 18 to provide a public update on their respective bill proposals since their first meeting in October.
The workgroup has reached agreement in several areas, including increasing access for the uninsured and for those whom the cost is too high. Members also agreed that MNSure would be the access point for applicants to gain eligibility to the program before crisis. Some of the larger remaining issues needing to be resolved include points of access to the drug, eligibility for the program, the participation requirements for doctors and drug manufacturers and how to fund the program.
Representatives from several of the delivery systems and advocates, including MAPE member Nicole Smith-Holt, urged the workgroup to ensure broader eligibility and increased access points for obtaining the emergency medication without unnecessary medical appointments in addition to addressing the long term affordability issue.
Earlier this year, the Minnesota House passed the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, the first of its kind legislation that establishes an emergency supply of insulin for diabetics who are unable to pay for prescription refills. The state Senate has not passed the bill.
The bill was named for Nicole Smith-Holt’s son Alec Smith who died after being forced to ration his insulin because he could not afford the prescription.