On behalf of the 37 million Americans with diabetes, we as advocates from the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) and as your constituents urge you to act on behalf of our community.
Diabetes is a costly chronic condition, requiring access to medications, supplies, and services to successfully manage the disease. Recent studies indicate that as patient costs – including and especially cost-sharing requirements – rise, adherence to drug regimens decreases and the risk of costly and life-threatening complications increases. This full-blown crisis requires urgent and immediate action.
As you know, the Improving Needed Safeguards for Users of Lifesaving Insulin Now (INSULIN) Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by the Co-Chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Sen. Susan Collins (ME) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), may be considered as soon as this month. This common-sense legislation caps insulin cost sharing at $35 per month or 25% of list price in employer-provided health plans, which cover nearly half of all Americans, as well as Affordable Care Act plans.
Current research on prescription abandonment suggests $35 is a reasonable national cost-sharing cap, making life sustaining insulin affordable to millions of people and relieving many in [STATE] of the difficult choice between paying thousands of dollars for a medication they need to survive and paying for groceries or a place to live. This consistency across U.S. health plans will help improve insulin access throughout a person’s life, leading to a healthier Medicare population in future years.
This is not a new proposal, and there is a demonstrated track record of bipartisan support on the state level. In fact, 20 states – controlled by Republican and Democratic legislatures alike – and the District of Columbia have enacted copay caps. It is time for Congress to follow the example of these states and quickly act.
The importance of timely legislative action is a matter of life and death for Americans with diabetes. Congress has the opportunity and a moral obligation to do something meaningful for people with diabetes by passing the INSULIN Act during this Congress. Without a collective effort, Americans will continue to suffer – or worse, die – as a result of a treatable disease. As your constituents, we urge your support if and when this bill comes to the floor of the U.S. Senate.
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Additionally, feel free to use some of this language to send your Senators a message telling them why you support the INSULIN Act and help them make the crucial connection to home – find and contact them here.
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