search
Sections List
American Journal News

Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

More than 1 in 10 adults across Maine have diabetes

By Evan Popp, Maine Morning Star - February 14, 2024
Share
Insulin is displayed at Pucci's Pharmacy in Sacramento, Calif., July 8, 2022.
FILE - Insulin is displayed at Pucci's Pharmacy in Sacramento, Calif., July 8, 2022. The biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change. A hard-fought cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors in the Medicare program. A new corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. And billions leftover to pay down federal deficits.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

A legislative committee considered a bill Tuesday that seeks to lower the price of insulin, a crucial medication that some Mainers have struggled to afford. 

LD 1793, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), would require that insurance companies cover the lowest-price insulin available and not pass on any cost-sharing to patients. It would also waive registration fees for non-profit drug manufacturers to incentivize the sale of low-cost insulin in Maine.   

Jackson said during a hearing on the bill Tuesday before the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee that the measure would help prevent Mainers with diabetes from having to make impossible decisions between affording a critical medication and buying other necessities.  

“Nobody should face the choice between paying rent, buying groceries, keeping their lights on, and paying for a medication that they need to live,” Jackson said. 

Vials of insulin are cheap to make, but costs increased dramatically over the past two decades before three of the drug’s primary manufacturers recently cut prices. 

Some other organizations are trying to lower costs further by using a non-profit business model. One such group, Civica Rx, is looking to produce and sell insulin at a price that allows it to break even. The organization, which spoke in favor of Jackson’s bill, is one group that would benefit from the provision in the legislation that waives registration fees for non-profit drug makers. 

Jackson’s bill would build on previous action taken in Maine in 2020 that limited insulin copays to $35 for a 30-day supply, which advocates said was a crucial step to help with affordability for the more than 1 in 10 adults across the state with diabetes. 

Still, Kate Ende of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, who spoke in favor of LD 1793, said while the 2020 reform helped many people, $35 can still be a financial burden for some. Ende said that’s especially true when considering that diabetics often need other medical supplies and that the cost of those, in addition to the price of insulin, can quickly become unaffordable. 

The bill received some opposition during Tuesday’s hearing, including from insurance companies. Kristine Ossenfort, director of government relations for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, said the proposal doesn’t address the root cause of the high cost of medications but instead “nibbles at other aspects.” 

She also argued that limiting cost-sharing for the lowest-price insulin would create higher financial burdens for other consumers. 

“This is the perennial squeezing of the balloon,” she said. “If you limit the cost shares, even for certain drugs, to zero, you’re just going to see it increase elsewhere in higher cost shares for other services, in higher out of pocket limits, or in higher premiums.” 

Jackson’s bill comes as lawmakers are also trying to tackle the overall issue of prescription drug prices. A bill advanced by the committee earlier this month would authorize the Maine Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set an upper limit beginning in 2026 on what individuals would pay for one or more of the first 10 drugs that will be eligible for Medicare price negotiation under the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Advocates have long argued that overall drug costs are a serious problem in the state, with a May 2023 survey finding 1 in 4 Mainers had rationed pills, skipped doses of a medicine or not filled a prescription due to price. 

Nationally, the pharmaceutical industry rakes in billions annually even as an estimated 18 million people can’t afford the cost of drugs. 

This story was originally published in the Maine Morning Star


Read More
Ohio doctors fear effects of emergency abortion care case set to go before U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio doctors fear effects of emergency abortion care case set to go before U.S. Supreme Court

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal - April 23, 2024
House GOP votes to end flu, whooping cough vaccine rules for foster and adoptive families

House GOP votes to end flu, whooping cough vaccine rules for foster and adoptive families

By Anita Wadhwani, Tennessee Lookout - March 26, 2024
U.S. House Speaker Johnson says IVF should be protected — just not by Congress

U.S. House Speaker Johnson says IVF should be protected — just not by Congress

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - March 14, 2024
Idaho bill banning public funds for gender-affirming care goes to Senate

Idaho bill banning public funds for gender-affirming care goes to Senate

By Mia Maldonado, Idaho Capital Sun - March 14, 2024
Alabama passed a new IVF law. But questions remain.

Alabama passed a new IVF law. But questions remain.

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - March 11, 2024
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
AJ News
Latest
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Ohio doctors fear effects of emergency abortion care case set to go before U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio doctors fear effects of emergency abortion care case set to go before U.S. Supreme Court

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal - April 23, 2024
President Biden visits Prince William park to talk solar, youth involvement on Earth Day

President Biden visits Prince William park to talk solar, youth involvement on Earth Day

By Charlie Paullin, Virginia Mercury - April 23, 2024
Biden on abortion rights: President expects to give speech Tuesday on new Florida 6-week ban

Biden on abortion rights: President expects to give speech Tuesday on new Florida 6-week ban

By Mitch Perry, Florida Phoenix - April 22, 2024
New group will advocate for increased voting access for Alabamians with disabilities

New group will advocate for increased voting access for Alabamians with disabilities

By Ralph Chapoco, Alabama Reflector - April 22, 2024
Group launches effort to explore ballot initiative restoring abortion access in Idaho

Group launches effort to explore ballot initiative restoring abortion access in Idaho

By Kelcie Moseley-Morris, Idaho Capital Sun - April 19, 2024
Michigan House panel OKs bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Michigan House panel OKs bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control

By Katie O'Brien Kelley, Michigan Advance - April 19, 2024