Hailing it as a piece of legislation that is a working example of compromise, Gov. Tim Walz pre-filed a bill to improve access to affordable insulin for Minnesotans. The bill was built on weeks of work done by bipartisan members of the Insulin Work Group.
Walz used ideas from the group to prepare the bill. “The cost of insulin has tripled in the last ten years—raking in the cash for pharmaceutical companies while Minnesotans with diabetes are left scrambling to afford the drug they need to survive,” he said. “We have a solution to this crisis. Taking the best from both Democrat and Republican proposals, this compromise bill would increase access to affordable insulin, hold Big Pharma accountable, and is ready to be implemented. There’s no reason not to support it.”
The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act is named for a young man who died rationing his insulin due to its cost. The bill ensures that Minnesotans facing an emergency—those most in danger of rationing their insulindue to the high cost of the drug—have access to an immediate refill at their pharmacy. It builds upon the bill introduced last session by Republicans that creates a long-term program to provide eligible Minnesotans access to free insulin.
Walz and Democratic leaders assembled for the news conference say the one reason no bill came out of the Insulin Work Group sessions was that Republicans would not budge on a provision to make pharmaceutical companies accountable. Democrats maintain that three insulin manufacturers control more than 90 percent of the insulin market in the U.S., and say in the last year those three companies have reported $84.1 billion in revenue and $18.5 billion in profits. The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act would place a tax on insulin manufacturers to create an insulin affordability program, and make pharmaceutical companies
be part of the solution for the crisis Walz says they created.
Source: KARE 11 News