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Insulin costs could soon be capped at $35 per month



Rochester, New York – Like so many others across the state, Irma Bumgardner spent years trying to find ways to afford her insulin, which ranged between $200 and sometimes $300 a month.

“It was hard for me to budget. I had to let either food go, or a bill goes or something like that to pay, and it’s very hard to catch up when you’re behind,” said Bumgardner.

Rising insulin prices are forcing patients to either take less than their required dose or skip the shot altogether.

Dr. Kwiatkowski from UHS has seen the damage it’s causing his patients. “The vast majority of them, when they’re not able to take their insulin the way they should, suffer sometimes dire consequences because they need their insulin to survive,” said Kwiatkowski.

“My energy is kind of low, I’m really drowsy, and it really affects my health when I’m not able to take the full amount that I’m supposed to,” said Bumgardner.

Senator Chuck Schumer is now championing the INSULIN Act, a bipartisan bill that would cap insulin costs at $35 a month.

The act would also limit drug companies from increasing the cost.

For diabetes patients like Bumgardner, it’s a welcome sign. “I’m hoping that they get this bill passed because it would not only help me, but it would help a whole lot of people who are in need of insulin that’s not able to get it, and if they do get it, they’re not able to take the full amount,” said Bumgardner.

Currently, the average monthly cost out of pocket averages around $200, but could reach up to $1,000 nationwide.

37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population in 2019, had diabetes.

The bill has bipartisan support and is expected to pass.