One of our foundational beliefs is that everyone should have access to the insulin they need to survive. Our community has been raising their voices on this issue for years, engaging with Congress, employers, health insurance companies, and drug manufacturers. Today we’re pleased that the Senate Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced the INSULIN Act of 2023, an important step towards achieving affordable insulin for all who need it.
“JDRF is thankful that Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Susan Collins are continuing their bipartisan fight to make insulin more affordable for the millions of Americans who need it to survive,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Executive Officer. “Their bill, the INSULIN Act, contains several provisions for which JDRF has long advocated. JDRF supports this legislation and encourages all members of the Senate to support it as well.”
What’s in the Bill?
Specifically, this bill will:
- Limit out-of-pocket costs for people with diabetes by ensuring that individuals with commercial insurance pay no more than $35 or 25% of the net price per month starting in 2024, for at least one insulin of each type and dosage form.
- Mandate that Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) pass through 100% of insulin rebates and discounts to health plans.
- Promote competition for generic and biosimilar insulins by creating an expedited FDA pathway and other methods.
- One year following adoption, the bill requires key Federal agency leaders to report to Congress on issues and market dynamics delaying or restricting biosimilar insulin competition.
Building on Progress
This bill, if enacted, will build on recent progress we’ve made together in this space. For example:
- The Civica Insulin Project is working to produce the first of three biosimilar insulins for $30 per vial and $55 for a box of five pens, with the goal of filing with the FDA in 2024. Civica insulin will be available to everyone regardless of insurance status.
- Last month three major manufacturers lowered their insulin prices.
- Those on Medicare now have a $35 per month insulin copay cap through the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in August 2022.
These are significant steps in the right direction made possible because of your advocacy—but there is more to do.
While the recent changes by insulin manufacturers are welcome, there is no guarantee that these changes will impact everyone equally or that they will be permanent. The T1D community needs legislative solutions that lower out-of-pocket costs and fix the distorted insulin market to ensure that we permanently end this crisis. The INSULIN Act takes steps to help achieve this goal.
Take Action to Support This Bill
JDRF has been working for years with the lead sponsors of the INSULIN Act of 2023 to develop viable policy solutions for insulin affordability that will have the greatest impact for people with diabetes. Along with our countless advocates we will not stop until all Americans with diabetes have access to this life-saving drug at a predictable and affordable cost. We look forward to working with the INSULIN Act co-sponsors, and our partners in Congress to ensure this legislation is adopted.
Take action today! Contact your Senators and urge them to support the INSULIN Act!