US first as state of Colorado introduces price cap on insulin

Colorado has become the first US state to introduce a cap on monthly insulin payments in a significant victory for campaigners.

While insulin is available on prescription in the UK via the NHS, people in the US have to pay the drug, either out of pocket or through insurance plans, and it is not cheap.

Earlier this year the US government was urged to cap soaring insulin costs following a survey indicating almost half of people with diabetes have gone without insulin temporarily due to cost.

In a fightback against drug manufacturers, Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis this week passed a law capping insulin to payments at $100 for people with private insurance. Average monthly prices are between $600 and $900.

The politician described the move as the beginning of the end of “insulin price gouging” in the state – gouging is where sellers spike prices to a level much higher that what would be considered to be fair. It is hoped this will then pave the way for other states to follow suit.

The sponsor of the bill responsible for the price capping was state politician Dylan Roberts, whose brother Murphy, who had type 1 diabetes, died three years ago.

Governor Polis said the bill was to “honour Murphy’s memory, and of course for the 400,000 Coloradans who live with diabetes every day”.

He said his brother could afford the drug, but many others struggled to pay for their medication.

As well as the price cap, as part of the new law there will be an investigation into the price hikes and the companies involved by the state’s Attorney General Phil Weiser.

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