Proposed $35 Price Cap On Insulin Heads To Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Desk

A proposal by a Bay Area lawmaker that would cap the cost of insulin to $35 is heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk after being unanimously approved by state legislators.

Senate Bill 90 by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) passed the Assembly with a 63-0 vote and the State Senate on a 39-0 vote. The measure would ban co-pays over $35 for a 30-day supply of insulin and prohibit health plans from imposing a deductible on insulin prescriptions.

“No one should have to choose between putting food on the table and purchasing a life-saving medication such as insulin,” Wiener said in a statement. “By imposing a reasonable cost cap on insulin, we’ll make this life saving medication affordable for tens of thousands of people, lowering healthcare costs and improving our public health.”

The measure comes as the price of insulin has risen substantially in the past decade. As a result, many people with diabetes have incurred thousands of dollars in credit card debt to pay for the medication or have rationed their insulin to save money.

SB90 follows other actions taken at the state and federal levels to lower the price of insulin.

Earlier this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state would make their own insulin, announcing a 10-year partnership with a generic drug manufacturer. The product is not expected to be on store shelves until at least next year.

At the federal level, seniors on Medicare are already seeing a $35/month cap on insulin as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Meanwhile, Medicare is set to begin negotiating prices on 10 drugs, many of which treat diabetes.

More than 4 million Californian adults have diabetes and 231,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, according to Wiener’s office. New cases disproportionately affect communities of color, the elderly, males and low-income individuals.


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