Soaring insulin prices cause Minnesota lawmakers to draft remedies

A group of Minnesota legislators is considering regulations to rein in the soaring cost of insulin. With more than 460,000 diabetics in Minnesota, legislators say they are hearing many complaints from frustrated and worried constituents. Rationing insulin can lead to illness, even death.

A group of Minnesota legislators is considering regulations to rein in the soaring cost of insulin. With more than 460,000 diabetics in Minnesota, legislators say they are hearing many complaints from frustrated and worried constituents. Rationing insulin can lead to illness, even death. A vial of insulin can cost between $300 and $400, and the more convenient insulin pens can cost nearly $700 for a box of five, with some patients using one box every week. But many diabetics pay different prices based on their insurance coverage, as well as co-payments and deductibles. Several states have considered bills that would require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about prices, including requiring them to justify higher prices. Another option being considered is the institution of drug prices. Last session, Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) introduced a bill that would have created a drug cost review commission with the power to review drug price increases and set lower prices. However, the bill did not get a committee hearing.