BISMARCK, N.D. - Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., is getting some bipartisan support from Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, on her emergency insulin bill.
Smith's bill will create state insulin programs with federal grants for patients who can't afford the medication. It will also reduce the exclusivity period from 12 years to seven. This will bring generics to faster.
The North Dakota Board of Pharmacy says the price of an insulin unit nearly doubled from 13 cents in 2012 to 25 cents in 2016- increasing the cost by thousands for some patients.
Cramer said in a statement:
“While 50,000 North Dakotans with diabetes rely on insulin as a life source, the cost of this life supporting biologic has increased astronomically and left many unable to afford it. I am pleased to join Senator Smith in proposing a short-term emergency access solution to assist those in need as we pursue a more permanent fix to this problem."
Smith thanked Cramer in a statement, adding:
“This bill isn’t about a Republican issue or a Democratic issue—whether you’re in a red county, a blue county, or anywhere in between, this bill is about saving lives and putting forth a solution to address this national emergency.”