Hoping to push a cap on insulin prices, Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) proposed new legislation that would limit the price at $100 per 30-day supply.
Billings co-authors the bill with Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D – Fitchburg), Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), and Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), who say a week supply of insulin in the United States costs about $340.
In La Crosse County, about 500 adults are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year, according to Billings. She said conversations with people in the community showcase how some may have to choose between paying for insulin and other expenses.
“People are either pulling back on dosage, or they are looking at trying to use other types of insulin that may not work as well,” Billings said. “Some people who are using insulin are having issues paying rent or buying groceries.”
Billings said 8 percent of Wisconsin adults have diabetes, and 28 percent of adults have undiagnosed diabetes.
Saying that she has “lost patience” with drug manufacturers, she said it is time for the government to take action.
“I’m a free marketer, but I think when it comes to something like lifesaving drugs, and the drug companies are not doing what they should be doing, then it is really time for the government to step in as it has in Canada, Europe and other areas,” Billings said.
She claimed drug companies lie when they say prices increase because of research and ongoing improvements for existing medications.