Ohio lawmakers looking to cap costs for diabetics when it comes to insulin


A single vial of insulin can cost, on average, about $300, forcing some diabetics to ration it

COLUMBUS (WKBN) – There are 1.3 million adults living with diabetes in Ohio and another 70,000 are diagnosed every year. That’s according to Democratic lawmakers who are pushing a series of bills aimed at raising awareness and solutions for diabetes and the skyrocketing price of insulin.

The elected officials are putting forward a bill modeled after what Colorado did, capping the copay costs to patients when purchasing insulin at $100 per month.

A single vial of insulin can cost, on average, about $300.​

This is an effort to reduce instances of rationing. According to lawmakers, 30% of diabetics nationwide ration their insulin because of its cost and the need to make difficult decisions over whether to buy more or spend that money on bills or food.​

Prices for the same insulin manufactured by the same companies are dramatically lower in our neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico (90% cheaper in Canada and 50% cheaper in Mexico).​

Antrionette Worsham knows this firsthand. She accompanied her diabetic daughter to Canada to buy some.

Her other daughter, Antavia, died as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis due to her decision to ration her insulin.​

“I wasn’t on government assistance. I worked at Mercy Health — $3,800 deductible, $1,800 individual deductible. I have a degree, I work, I pay taxes and it’s still too expensive for us,” Worsham said.​

State Senator Hearcel Craig told reporters this bill will save lives by lowering the cost of insulin.​

“This is not a Republican or Democratic issue, this is about our families and our children,” he said.​

So far, Republicans have joined the effort in the House of Representatives as cosponsors to the bill.

In the Senate, however, Republicans are still mulling over if they want to get involved.​

State Representative Beth Liston, one of the primary sponsors of the House version of the bill, said there is a solution to solving this problem.

“In medicine, it is simple. We know how to treat it, we need policies that make it possible.”

Liston, a practicing doctor when not at the Statehouse, sees diabetic patients coming into the emergency rooms with diabetic ketoacidosis nearly every shift.

The price of insulin has been a problem for a while now.​

Every year around this time, stories are written about the issue and every year, the numbers continue to go up — whether it’s the cost of insulin, the number of people rationing or lives lost.

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