Illinois lawmakers want to expand insulin price caps to stop skyrocketing prescription costs

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CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois lawmakers are working to expand legislation capping the price of insulin so they apply to all residents of the state instead of just some.

Insulin can cost upwards of $300 per vial, which lasts about a week. But it’s a vital diabetes treatment, and for many diabetics the cost is a huge burden.

“Without it there would be no way. I couldn’t function,” said Lauren Gallagher, who has Type 1 diabetes.

“It can get very expensive very fast,” said Krista Gallagher, Gallagher’s mother and volunteer with JDRF, a non-profit for Type 1 diabetes research and advocacy.

The cost of insulin has risen dramatically in recent years. In 2012, a prescription averaged $344; by 2016 it had nearly doubled to $666, a 92% increase. According to the JDRF, the cost of insulin has risen 600% in the last 20 years.

“There are casualties from people who cannot afford their insulin,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9th District).

Rep. Schakowsky supported a new federal law that caps insulin costs at $35 a month starting in January, but it only applies to patients on Medicaid. She is hoping to see the law expanded to cover everyone.

The JDRF has been lobbying for years to make insulin more affordable.

“There are a lot of stories of people who lost loved ones because they ration insulin because they couldn’t afford it,” Krista Gallagher said.

Illinois also has a law capping insulin co-pay costs at $100 a month, but that only applies to about 15% of residents with a certain type of insurance. Lobbyists say the push is on to get these laws to cover everyone.

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October 12, 2022 at 06:30PM

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