Illinois just became the second state to put a cap on monthly insulin prices after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law Jan. 24.
The new law will not go into effect until January 2021, but once it does, diabetics will no longer have to pay more than $100 a month for their insulin.
In 2012, the average yearly cost of insulin was $2,864 and jumped to $5,705 in 2015, according to Health Care Cost Institute.
That’s nearly $280 a month in 2012 to $475 per month in 2015, which many families in America struggle to afford.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps to regulate a person’s blood sugar, unless that person has type 1 diabetes.
A type 1 diabetic’s pancreas produces little to no insulin, so those with the disease must follow a lifelong insulin regimen where they administer the insulin through either an injection or an insulin pump.
Along with all type 1 diabetics, some people with type 2 diabetes also need insulin to survive.
We at The Daily Eastern News were glad to hear Pritzker signed the bill to cap the monthly cost at $100 because, like Pritzker, we believe that healthcare is a right rather than a privilege.
Almost 100 years ago, Dr. Frederick Banting created the lifesaving insulin drug and sold the patent for $1 because he believed it was such an important medication that needed to be affordable.
If only every pharmaceutical company thought like Banting did.
Instead, they sell these lifesaving drugs for a price that is nearly impossible for many people in the U.S. to afford.
There are currently no generic forms of insulin drugs, so buying the cheaper version is not much of an option for people because all of the available forms are expensive in their own way.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, and there is no cure, so the people with this disease have no control of whether or not they eventually get it.
When this new law goes into effect in 2021, many people will not have to worry as much about how they are going to pay for their medication.
While $100 a month may still be a lot for some, it is definitely a step in the right direction as far as affordable healthcare goes.
We fully support Pritzker’s action and we hope that other states follow suit.
The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]