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Law to lower US insulin costs takes a step closer

The American state of Nevada is close to passing a landmark bill to tackle the diabetes pharmaceutical industry over insulin price hikes.
The proposed legislation is part of a campaign to lower prescription prices for the treatment in the US which has faced fierce opposition from lobbyists and pharmaceutical firms.
The western American state, which is controlled by Democrats, is one of 23 trying to fight the growing expense of prescription drugs, with insulin prices rising by 300 per cent over the last ten years.
The bill, known as SB 265, passed the Senate on May 19 and the Assembly on May 25 and on June 1 it will go before Governor for Nevada, Brian Sandoval, to sign it.
Specifically, it aims to force pharmaceutical companies to disclose insulin data, register sales reps and make public the funding of patient organisations. Also, it would require drugmakers to inform the state about any price hikes 90 days before making them.
Under the proposals, the country’s insulin producers would face $5,000 fines for each day they do not provide data without giving an explanation.
It comes following a new law introduced in Vermont demanding that the pharmaceutical industry to justify any increases in price by 15 per cent or higher.
As well as insulin, the proposed regulations would also cover oral drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes known as biguanides, a class which includes metformin.
The bill was proposed by Senator Yvanna Cancela, a who is a Democrat from Las Vegas, with a view that transparency would force down insulin prices.
She said: “It is a testament to them recognizing that there is a problem, a lack of transparency, in drug costs, and I am very grateful for their support. I hope that this is the beginning of what will probably be a decade-long discussion on how to make drugs more affordable.”
As well as proposing new rules covering insulin, the legislation would also call on all drug manufacturers to register sales representatives.

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