ATLANTA – U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., is pushing to get legislation he introduced last month capping the cost of insulin to the Senate floor by the Easter recess.
The bill would limit the cost of insulin to $35 per month. The measure would apply to private group or individual health plans as well as Medicare.
“I’m interested in lowering the cost of prescription drugs in the first place,” Warnock told Capitol Beat Thursday in an exclusive interview. “[But] in no place is the urgency of this clearer.”
Warnock explained that more than 12% of Georgia adults have diabetes, while diabetes patients account for $1 of every $4 spent on health care in the U.S.
“Insulin has doubled [in cost] over the last four or five years,” he said. “You have to ask yourself why? It’s not research and development. This disease has been around 400 years. … [Drug companies] will engage in price gouging if they can.”
Warnock said he’s working with senators on both sides of the aisle who support a cap on insulin. His bill could be combined with another measure yet to be introduced by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., according to a Democratic source with knowledge of the conversations.
A bill capping the cost of insulin also was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives last month.
Warnock said 20 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation capping patient copays for insulin, including the Republican-led states of Alabama, Oklahoma and Utah.
“This is a bipartisan issue,” he said. “Everybody knows somebody with diabetes.”
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.