OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The State Senate passed a bill created to help Oklahomans better afford insulin.
House Bill 1019 now heads to Gov. Kevin Stitt.
The bill, written by Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Ardmore, and Rep. Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, sets ceilings for insulin costs.
Under the bill, a 30-day supply of insulin is capped at $30 and at $90 for a 90-day supply for each covered prescription, according to an Oklahoma Senate news release.
Copays are currently based on individual insurance plans.
“Approximately 200,000 Oklahomans have Type I diabetes, requiring daily usage of insulin. Unfortunately, because of continually increasing prices, many diabetics ration their insulin or go without, putting their health and lives at further risk,” Simpson said. “This is a commonsense approach that has already been approved in several other states. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to profit off of life-sustaining medicines, like insulin. I applaud my legislative colleagues for fighting to improve the health of our fellow Oklahomans, especially those with Type I diabetes.”
Simpson lost his granddaughter to complications related to Type 1 diabetes. He has long been an advocate for Oklahomans with diabetes, according to the news release.
The bill authorizes the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner to enforce the price cap.
Over 450,000 adults in Oklahoma have diabetes, and over one million more have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
“Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Oklahoma, giving the state the fourth highest age-adjusted diabetes death rate in the nation,” the news release states.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and early death, all of which can be prevented if the disease is properly managed, according to the news release.
“All Oklahomans with diabetes should be able to purchase life-saving insulin without forgoing other bills or stretch it out to less than their recommended dosage,” Worthen said. “I believe House Bill 1019 is a step in the right direction to providing affordable insulin to these citizens, and I am very pleased that the bill was supported by so many of my colleagues in the Legislature.”