SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Syracuse Wednesday to tout a bill he’s proposing that would limit how much people with diabetes pay for insulin.
Speaking at Upstate Medical University’s Joslin Center for Diabetes, Schumer said his legislation would cap the cost of monthly insulin supplies to $35.
The capped price would apply for both people with and without insurance.
Based on someone’s insurance plan, insulin can cost between $200 and $600, according to Schumer’s office.
Schumer said, “Our drug production and delivery system is so convoluted that it favors the companies and distributors, not the patients. This bill favors the patients. We’re not saying the companies will lose money. They won’t. But they won’t make record profits.”
Research from the Mayo Clinic shows a vial of Humalog (insulin lispro), which cost $21 back in 1999 and $332 twenty years later. That’s a 1000% increase.
Standing alongside Schumer for his announcement was Kristen Aluzzi, a diabetes patient from Liverpool.
Aluzzi said her pharmacy calls to warn her of the price before every month’s refill.
She said, “It’s a lot of money. I could be doing a lot more fun things with it.”
“We’re not throwing out the bottle, like toothpaste at the end,” she added. “We are saving it to the very end.”
Schumer said, as majority leader, he controls what bills go to the floor. He’s planning a vote on his Affordable Insulin Now Act for early March.
Unlike the giant packages of bills that get the most attention, the insulin bill is stand-alone. Schumer feels he has enough Republican support to get the required 60 votes.