California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the budget he approved allocates $100 million to the state for insulin production. This is in response to the high cost of the life-saving medication, which has made it difficult for some diabetics to access.
Newsom tweeted, "The cost of insulin is the most defining example of market failure." This life-saving drug is expensive for many Americans, with out-of-pocket expenses ranging from $300 to $500 per month. California is taking matters into its own hands.
It's easy. California will make its own insulin. It is not a good idea to borrow money in order to save your life. pic.twitter.com/yB4mpGjtQO
Newsom stated that $50 million would be spent on low-cost insulin products and $50 million will be used for the creation of an insulin manufacturing plant in California. Although he did not give a specific timeframe or cost of the product, he stated that it will be made "at a lower price, close to at-cost and available to everyone".
Newsom isn't the only lawmaker trying to reduce insulin prices. Colorado was the first state to limit insulin co-payments in 2019. This year, the U.S. House approved a bill that would have the monthly cost for insulin at $35 for those who are insured.
Rising insulin prices have been a problem for many years. Some people try to ration what insulin they can afford. One case was that of a 26-year old man who tried to ration insulin but fell into a diabetic state in his own home.
His mother said to CBS News that her son was not a statistic. He would have been here if the price of his life-saving medication were reasonable.
Human Rights Watch reported in April that the major insulin companies -- Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk -- had significantly increased the prices for their synthetic insulin over the past decade.
The report stated that almost all insulin-dependent people interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they had rationed insulin due to out-of-pocket expenses and used it in ways not prescribed by their doctor in an effort to increase their supply.
Novo Nordisk claims it offers free insulin to low- and moderate-income patients through its patient assistance program. Although reform will take time, the company stated that it would continue to support those who are in need.
Eli Lilly stated that the average monthly out-of pocket cost for Lilly insulin had decreased by 44% to $21.80 over the past five year, noting that there are programs that can help those with higher costs.