This week, the Minnesota Legislature passed House File 3100, the ‘Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act’, with wide, bipartisan support. The legislation creates a safety net program for emergency and long-term assistance to individuals who cannot afford insulin.
“This is a bipartisan agreement that moves this bill across the finish line. This is the culmination of many months of public input, committee hearings, and negotiations with the many stakeholders involved in the bill, and it reflects our bipartisan commitment to the people of Minnesota,” said Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson). “This is a concern for so many whose bodies need insulin to function, but cannot afford the medication. This will also make sure they get connected with an insurance plan that covers most or all of the cost of the medication moving forward.”
The bill requires insulin manufacturers to provide a 30-day supply of insulin at no cost to individuals that urgently need it but are struggling to afford its high cost. Additionally, patient assistance programs through drug companies – which have been questioned as too onerous and cumbersome with limited qualifications – must be made accessible and transparent with their application and approval process. An application for assistance is based on standardized requirements and must be approved or denied within ten days.
The legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.
Senator Scott Newman, of Hutchinson, represents McLeod, Meeker, Sibley, and Swift counties in the Minnesota Senate. He serves as chair of the Senate Transportation Finance and Policy Committee.