Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics

Keiser state bill caps insulin costs at $35 per month

Inslee signs legislation; Congress has yet to pass any federal cost controls

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, will ensure that Washington residents with diabetes will continue to pay no more than $35 a month for insulin.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5729 on March 30. Keiser represents the 33rd Legislative District, which includes part of Kent.

In 2022, legislators passed Keiser’s previous insulin bill, which capped the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $35 a month, but the cap in that bill was scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, 2024, according to a Washington State Senate Democrats news release. The measure was intended to be temporary while Congress passed legislation to control the cost of insulin at the federal level, but Congress failed to act. Before that, in 2020, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Keiser to cap the cost for insulin at $100 a month.

This year’s bill removes the expiration date so that out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin will be capped at $35 permanently.

“Insulin is a lifesaving drug that was developed a century ago,” Keiser said. “In Canada, you can get it for $5. But in our country, it can cost hundreds of dollars. That means people die because they can’t afford insulin.

“This legislation isn’t a perfect solution — I had hoped that Congress would take action to ensure insulin is affordable for all Americans. But by keeping costs down for people with diabetes, this price cap is going to save lives in Washington.”

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