Oklahoma Experts Call Bill To Cap Cost Of Insulin ‘Step In Right Direction’

Wednesday, April 21st 2021, 10:17 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A bill to lower the cost of insulin was signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt Wednesday.

The bill that caps the cost comes as drug makers have surged insulin prices in recent years, forcing some Americans to ration their desperately needed medication.

While it’s good news for many Oklahomans, some experts said this will only help a small portion of people with diabetes, because of a federal law.

Related Story: Gov. Stitt Signs Bill Capping Copay Of Insulin For Oklahomans

Experts said this bill will help about 10 percent of Oklahomans with diabetes by lowering the cost of insulin, which patients said is still a huge step.

"We have to have insulin to live," said Morgan Priest. 

Priest was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes about five years ago. She said the toughest part of the diagnosis is the high cost of insulin.

"The cost of the medication it's insane, it really is," she said. 'If we go without it, we will die."

Priest said friends have helped by giving her insulin, but she would have to pay about $600 a month once her supply runs out.

Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill that will cap the copay price for insulin at $30 for a 30-day supply.

"When I saw that it passed, I couldn't believe it, this is the biggest deal for me," Priest said.

Although this is good news for many Oklahomans, Kim Koleber, who is an advocacy chair for Oklahoma's Legislative Diabetes Caucus, said the bill won't help most Oklahomans with diabetes.

"That is a good thing for, unfortunately, only 10 percent of Oklahomans living with Diabetes that take insulin daily, and that is because of a federal law called the ERISA that will override state law," Koleber said.

Koleber said people who have certain private insurance plans or those that are uninsured will not benefit from the $30 cap.

She said it's a step in the right direction, but more changes are needed to help everyone. As for Priest, she's grateful for the good news and hopes it's just the beginning.

"I do wish for the next step, for this to be successful for everyone, everywhere,” Priest said.

The bill becomes law on Nov. 1.

You can read the full text of the bill here.