(FOX NEWS) - Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reportedly signed a bill last week that caps insulin co-payments at $100 per month. The legislation is a win for diabetes sufferers as the price of insulin keeps rising. The price tripled between 2002 and 2013, according to NPR, and has continued to rise since.
“Today we will finally declare that the days of insulin price-gouging are over in Colorado,” Polis said at a news conference.
Colorado, where some patients had co-payments as high as $900, is the first state to enact such a law, the Huffington Post reported.
“For Coloradans living with Type 1 Diabetes, insulin is essential to their survival. It is the same as oxygen," state Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat whose brother died of diabetes, told Denver's FOX 31. "The skyrocketing cost of insulin is outrageous and it is literally putting people’s lives at risk. With this new law, Coloradans will no longer be forced to choose between this life-saving and life-sustaining drug and their other expenses."
"This bill will save me personally $35 a month because of my private insurance. For other people, it could save them all the way up to $2,000 or more a month," Betsy Ray, an insulin user, told FOX 31 after Polis signed the bill.
Under the new law, which takes effect in January, Colorado’s attorney general will also be investigating how insulin prices are set in the state. Due to increased prices, some patients have had to choose between rationing their existing prescription and not filling a new one, according to NPR.
A professor from the Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy told NPR that the real problem is there isn’t enough competition in the pharmaceutical industry
This year, insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly, said they plan to put a generic version of their product on the market that would cost half the price, NPR reported, and last month, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers announced they will be placing a $25 cap on insulin co-pays. Eli Lilly's lower cost Insulin Lispro Injection is also now available.
Insurers will reportedly take on the extra costs.
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