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Bill would cap out-of-pocket cost of insulin for patients

December 30, 2019 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine bill would cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for more than 140,000 diabetes patients if it becomes law in 2020.

If the proposed legislation goes through, Maine would join Colorado in capping costs for patients to a “reasonable amount” regardless of how much insulin a patient uses, the Portland Press Herald reported Monday. The amount has not been set.

The bill was introduced by Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon on Dec. 19 and is backed by Gov. Janet Mills.

“The skyrocketing costs of insulin are simply unaffordable for too many Maine families, and no one should be forced to choose between life-saving medications and essentials like groceries or clothes for their kids,” Gideon said in a recent release.

About 10% of the state’s population has the common chronic disease, and annual costs for insulin increased from $2,864 to $5,705 per patient from 2012 to 2016, according to a recent study by the Washington-based Health Care Cost Institute.

Similar bills will be considered next year in other states, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois and Wisconsin.