Rep. Patti Minter co-sponsors bill seeking Insulin affordability

Michael Crimmins, News reporter

Kentucky state representatives are co-sponsoring a bill to make Insulin more affordable across the Commonwealth.   

WKU History Professor and State Representative Patti Minter (D-Bowling Green) prefiled a bill with Rep. Danny Bentley (R-Boyd) concerning Insulin programs.

Minter has been a representative of district 20 in the Kentucky General Assembly since her victory in 2018. She plans to run for reelection once her term is up in 2022. Minter has a son with Type 1 diabetes.

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Bentley is a representative of the 98 district in the Commonwealth. According to his legislative profile, he is a retired pharmacist and an educator. He has sponsored a number of health and wellness related legislation.

The cosponsors prefiled BR 53 “AN ACT relating to the establishment of emergency insulin programs and declaring an emergency” on Aug. 4, 2021. 

Minter was the primary sponsor of a similar bill, HB 122, in the 2021 regular session.

The bill mirrors pieces of legislation in Colorado and Minnesota called Alec’s Law. The law was named after a young man who had Type 1 diabetes and had to start rationing his Insulin. Alec went into a diabetic coma and was found dead from high blood sugar.

“This happens far more often than people like to believe,” Minter said. “Because people have to ration their Insulin because they cannot afford it.”

This also happened to Kayla Davis, an Owensboro resident who lived with Type 1 Diabetes. Once off her mother’s insurance she had to begin rationing her medication, Minter said. Davis eventually died due to her rationing. 

“The point of this bill is to make sure people have access to affordable Insulin on an emergency basis,” Minter said.

The bill states that in an emergency situation a person can get a 30 day supply for $25 once per year and the pharmacy will be reimbursed by the manufacturers. 

“This is designed to create an Insulin safety net,” Minter said. “So no one has to choose between having a life saving drug in the dosage they need or losing a limb, or their vision.”

As well as creating an “Insulin safety net,” this bill also lowers the price of Insulin as a whole. The cost would be shifted back to the manufacturers, Minter said. 

“We already know that Insulin only costs $6 a vial to manufacture,” Minter said. “So there’s no reason that the manufacturers should have any objections to this bill  because they’re already making lots of money.”

Alec’s Laws in Colorado and Minnesota have passed with no lawsuits, Minter said, so she is confident this bill will stand.

“I’m ready to get to work passing this bill to make sure no one dies in this state because they don’t have access to Insulin,” she said. “I believe access to Insulin is a basic human right, and I’ll continue to fight for that.”

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm