SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, which will help Minnesotans access affordable insulin in emergency situations and long-term.
“Far too many people are struggling to afford lifesaving medication,” said Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL – White Bear Township), who voted in favor of the legislation. “Thanks to the Minnesotans who shared their stories, we were able to pass legislation to help people with diabetes get the insulin they need at a price they can afford. I will continue fighting to ensure all Minnesotans can access the prescription medication they need at an affordable price.”
The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act is named after a young man who lost his life because he could not afford his insulin. The legislation ensures that Minnesotans who are in urgent need of insulin but cannot afford it can access an emergency 30-day supply at their pharmacy for a co-pay of $35. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to participate in the solution by reimbursing pharmacies for these emergency supplies.
The legislation also helps Minnesotans access affordable insulin long-term by requiring insulin manufacturers to create patient assistance programs. Eligible individuals could access a 90-day supply of insulin for $50 or less through these programs. If they don’t comply, insulin manufacturers could be fined up to $3.6 million a year, doubling in the second year.
A copy of the legislation can be found here. The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act is expected to be approved by the Minnesota Senate and signed into law by Governor Walz.