California will make its own insulin to lower costs for people with diabetes

Insulin vials
Adobe

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on July 7 that his state would begin producing affordable insulin to help fight the high prices of this essential medication.

The governor approved a budget earmarking $100 million for the state to contract and create insulin at a price he called “close to at cost.”

The governor shared a video clip revealing the plan on Twitter.

“On my first day in office, I signed an executive order to put California on the path toward creating our own prescription drugs,” Newsom said in the video. “And now, it’s happening. California is going to make its own insulin.”

“It’s simple,” Newsom tweeted. “People should not go into debt to get life-saving medication.”

Insulin typically retails for between $175 and $300 a vial, and most diabetic patients require two to three vials per month, although some need more. About one-quarter of insulin-dependent Americans skimp on or skip doses because of the cost.

“Nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin,” Newsom said in the video. “Many Americans experience out-of-pocket costs anywhere from $300 to $500 per month for this lifesaving drug. California is now taking matters into our own hands.”

Approximately 35 million Americans have diabetes. More than 7 million of them require insulin every day.

According to a recent study, Yale researchers found that 14% of people who use insulin in the U.S. spend at least 40% of their post-subsistence income, or the money they have left after paying for food and housing, on insulin.

In 2019, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis passed legislation to cap insulin co-payments for patients with private insurance at $100 per month.

In March, the U.S. House passed a bill to limit the cost of insulin to $35 a month for most Americans. However, the bill will need at least 10 Republican votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and become law.

It is not yet clear when California’s state-produced insulin will be available or how much it will cost.

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Tricia Goss

Tricia is a professional writer and editor who lives in North Texas with her family and one smelly dog. She is a wannabe problem solver, junk food maven professional coffee practitioner, web guru and general communicator. Learn More.