MN Senate Republicans Hold Hearing on Their Insulin Assistance Plan

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(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Senate Republicans take public input this morning (10am) at the Capitol on their plan to help Minnesotans struggling with the high cost of insulin.

It would require pharmaceutical manufacturers provide free insulin to qualifying patients — a very different approach from Democrats’ plan that would charge drug makers a fee to fund an assistance program run by the state.

Senator Eric Pratt argues the Republican plan makes more sense:
“If we can do a direct-to-consumer approach through a distribution channel that already exists, then why would we want to re-create a whole new bureaucracy for a short-term program?”

But Quinn Nystrom with the group “Minnesota Insulin for All” wants Republicans to make sure drug makers actually provide the insulin. “For them [Republican lawmakers] just to think, okay, we’re gonna ask them [drug manufacturers] to do it, I think there’s gonna have to be a strong penalty or a strong cost of doing business if they do not comply,” Nystrom says.

The pharmaceutical industry says it already has programs to assist patients who can’t afford insulin.

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