Update from the insulin peeps

Looks like State of MN is getting sued. Man, this stuff never ends. Legislation is no easy task. What do you guys think of all this?

Hello #insulin4all advocates,

Today, July 1st 2020, is the day we celebrate our success. The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act is officially enacted in the state of Minnesota! We want to thank every single one of you. All of your voices and hard work ignited a powerful message that couldn’t be ignored. Access to affordable insulin is a human right, and people living with Diabetes have waited far too long for a solution.

Late last night we were informed that PhRMA has filed a lawsuit against the state of Minnesota. It is of PhRMA’s opinion that this law is unconstitutional. We want to assure you that in spite of this action, the insulin program is still effective as of today, July 1st. While there are many feelings and concerns about this last minute attempt by manufacturers to deny Minnesotans of affordable insulin, we remain vigilant. We will provide updates to our advocates as they come.

We understand that you may have questions about this law and how to utilize it. We want to direct you to the Board of Pharmacy website that provides an overview of the established Insulin Safety Net Program. You will find the neccessary steps for determining your eligibility, patient information, navigator assistance, and more.

For direct access to those in urgent need of a 30-day supply of affordable insulin please visit MNinsulin.org where you can see if you qualify, download the application, and learn how to apply. Minnesota #insulin4all is here to answer any of your questions along the way. Please be proud of your advocacy. Together we conquered an incredible feat. We proved to insulin manufacturers that there is great power in grassroots advocacy, and that our lives are not for profit.

Onward in advocacy,

Nicole Smith-Holt

Minnesota #insulin4all Chapter Lead

Basically, to sum up years worth of crap - MN is suing the insulin manufactures for price fixing and pharma is suing the State of MN for stealing their drugs.

Its a sordid, twisted, convoluted mess.

Our whole healthcare system is such a mess. I’m glad someone is leading the change, but I’m afraid this particular case might not pan out in our favor. I don’t know enough details about the law they’re suing against, though.

The lawsuit makes it sound like MN is just stealing insulin without paying the pharma companies anything at all for it. And I can totally see that getting shot down in a court case. Is that true? What are the specifics of the MN mandate? Price fixing is very different than stealing, so I really hope it’s the former.

Very curious to see how this plays out. Honestly, I don’t know what the solution to our insurance debacle is, either.

I suppose it depends on what laws are in place. With utility companies there are laws in every state? that says they can only sell it at a certain price and they have to get okays to raise it by proof of costs etc.

But insulin might fall under complete private enterprise and they might not have the right to do or set certain prices. Unless Colorado is coming next it is interesting they chose Minnesota, so it might be how Minnesota’s is written or how they are implementing it.

The Feds just sued the Chicken manufactures for price gouging during corona. They were indicted…again.

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Here’s how it went down…

  1. MN Sues the insulin makers.
    https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-attorney-general-lori-swanson-sues-insulin-makers/497711361/#:~:text=Minnesota%20Attorney%20General%20Lori%20Swanson%20targeted%20drug%20manufacturers%20in%20her,and%20needy%20patients%20with%20diabetes.

  2. Alec Smith bill came - along with a bunch of other state bills against the PBMs and insurers, etc. Alec Smith passed and was enacted today.

  3. Pharma sues MN over the constitutionality of Alec Smith bill.

Alec Smith bill was not supported by American Diabetes Association like the others. I think it was always a little uncertain how effective/legal/good of a solution it was. But, it was brought by a grieving mother whose diabetic son died and it received a lot of publicity. She worked very, very hard to get this passed. But, she’s not a diabetic and might not really understand ‘the system.’ It was an effort to do something.

Govenor Waltz is pretty funny here…if you watch nothing else, watch the Gov freak out at the start of the video, lol.

State insulin safety net program:
https://www.mninsulin.org/

MN sorta went around the industry to provide what is a type of indirect cap on pricing (different than what Colorado did). So, this got things done fast, unlike their federal lawsuit that has been going on for more than 3 years, now.

mninsulin.org/mnsure/assets/Urgent-Need-Insulin-Application_tcm34-438051.pdf

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The good news is that the makers are all offering fixed prices, some regardless of insurance status, which is a good thing. This is in the USA. I don’t know if this works outside of the USA.

I’ve been taking FIASP for 2 years, paying $100 every 90 days until 2020. Then, CIGNA insurance, left my healthcare team and joined the opposing side. Now it’s $310 per MONTH! So I’ve been paying this for the last 7 months. So I just Googled insulin costs and have found out that all of the makers of insulin are offering different and lower prices for their insulins!! So next month I can get 2 boxes of FIASP pens or 3 vials for $99. This is with or without insurance. After all the hell that CIGNA has dragged me through the last 7 months I feel the $10.28 per day that I have been paying for my insurance premiums and out of pocket costs for insulin and test strips would be better spent in my pocket and I can afford to pay cash for my Endo who doesn’t take CIGNA because they don’t want to pay her anything anymore. The link for Norvonordisk is here: https://www.novocare.com/insulin/my99insulin.html

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I pretty much hate the manufacturers and the insurance companies and the government.
Everyone is trying to circumvent the other and it’s the consumer who pays the price.
The manufacturer creates a crazy high price because the insurance companies will cut that in half. Then the government makes new rules and the prices go even higher.
I do t have a solution to this problem, but the current set of doing this is just getting worse not better.
The senate has threatened to take away our protection of pre existing conditions. I hope it won’t pass. I lived for a year with no insurance at all because no one would cover me beck before the affordable care act. That was expensive but it was available at least. Now I have regular employer insurance. Which I still pay for but at least I have it.

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