FRANKFORT, Ky. — The more than 500,000 Kentuckians who have been diagnosed with diabetes could save on costly insulin prescriptions under a bill that passed Wednesday in the Kentucky House.
House Bill 12 would cap patient cost for a 30-day supply of insulin in Kentucky at $100 per prescription, said HB 12 primary co-sponsor and licensed pharmacist Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell. A diabetic himself, Bentley said typical costs for a month’s supply of the drug can run $1,200 or more per patient.
“I use insulin. A box of Lantus is over $300 dollars,” said Bentley. “So if you use four boxes a month, that’s $1,200.”
It’s that kind of expense, Bentley said, that has led some diabetics to begin rationing the life-saving drug.
“We hope that (HB 12) helps,” said Bentley. “Especially personal to me are the people I live with in Eastern Kentucky where we have a high rate of diabetes.”
An amendment to the bill filed by HB 12 primary co-sponsor and licensed pharmacist Rep. Steve Sheldon, R-Bowling Green, gives patients further assurance by prohibiting insurers from increasing the patient cost of insulin prescriptions that fall below $100. The amendment was adopted in the House by voice vote.
Rep. Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, voted in support of the bill. The mother of a Type 1 diabetic, Minter said those affected by diabetes are a “growing family.”
Minter said she ultimately supports insulin-for-all but that there is a need for HB 12 now.
“This is an excellent start, and it’s an excellent example of what this chamber can do when we are at our very best,” she said.
HB 12 passed the House 92-0. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.