Maycumber proposes temporary price cap on life-saving insulin

'Our families need some relief. They shouldn't have to choose between financial ruin and keeping their loved ones alive,' says Maycumber

Legislation in the state House of Representatives would put a temporary price cap on life-saving insulin medication while creating a comprehensive work group to figure out a long-term solution.

Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic and prime sponsor of the bill, said individuals who require insulin don't have a choice.

“It is a life and death drug,” said Maycumber. “There are no other options for those with certain types of diabetes. With the continual price increases it's not uncommon for families to spend over a thousand dollars per month just to keep their loved ones alive.”

Maycumber, who has personal experience purchasing and budgeting for her own child's insulin needs, said she has heard from families in her district and around the state that fear financial ruin while spending exorbitant amounts of money on the drug.

“We've seen the price of insulin in our country increase by more than five hundred percent over the last decade or so,” said Maycumber. “Yet other countries are not seeing the same increase. It's time we look into this and make sure Washington patients aren't subsidizing drug costs for other countries.”

Maycumber's legislation, House Bill 2662, creates the Total Cost of Insulin Work Group comprised of members from health insurance companies, pharmacies, state employees, agency officials, and the state Attorney General's Office.

The work group must submit its finding to the governor and Legislature by Dec. 1, 2020.

Her bill also states that:

“A health plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2021 that provides coverage for prescription insulin drugs must cap copayments, deductibles, or other forms of cost sharing for the drug at an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars per thirty-day supply.”

“We've got to have a long-term understanding and solution to this critical issue. My proposal is a recognition of how important, yet costly, this drug is for individuals and families around the state,” said Maycumber, a member of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. “But until we know more about why prices have increased and what we can do in the long-term to bring them back down to the realities of an average family budget, we need to put a temporary price cap in place. Our families need some relief. They shouldn't have to choose between financial ruin and keeping their loved ones alive.”

Maycumber's bill has 30 co-sponsors and has broad bipartisan support.

The 60-day 2020 legislation session began on Monday, Jan. 13.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov