CHICAGO — Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin joined families and organizers Friday morning to push for the ‘Affordable Insulin Now Act’, which would cap the price of insulin at $35.00 for most Americans.
Kerry Thomas and her two-year-old daughter Kaitlin were among those who joined Durbin at the Rush South Loop clinic Friday, highlighting the drastic difference between American prices and those north of the border.
“Something has gone terribly wrong. Take Eli Lilly’s blockbuster insulin, introduced in 1996 at $21.00. Today the same vial costs $325.00. Just over the border, $40.00 in Canada.
Durbin said an estimated 8 million Americans, including over 250,000 in Illinois, depend on insulin to manage their blood sugar. Managing the increasing costs has forced many families to ration doses.
“Which is dangerous to do because at the end of the day, these are patients who end up at the front door of emergency rooms and hospitals further increasing the cost on healthcare,” Rush family physician Dr. Mike Hanak said.
Danisha Moore has lived with Type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years.
“Being diagnosed at (age) six it took a while for me to understand financial struggles now at 28. It’s a lot, it can be taxing and for something that is necessary and life changing, it shouldn’t be that way,” Moore said.
Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, the Democrats’ broader agenda to lower prescription drug prices remains stalled.
The insulin bill passed the House in March with bipartisan support, though the Senate is still negotiating a compromise.