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Florida senator tries again for insulin copay cap in 2022

'This is a bill that seeks to take the patient out of the equation,' Sen. Janet Cruz says
Posted at 3:47 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 17:39:07-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers have a chance to tackle ever-growing insulin costs when they return in 2022.

For a third year, a state senator has filed a bill that would cap the cost of the life-saving drug.

Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, said insulin is around $7 a vial to produce. Yet, due to a lack of competition in the market, diabetic patients often pay $600 or more each month to have access, even with insurance.

Insulin copay bill
For a third year, Sen. Janet Cruz is seeking to cap copays for insured at $100 for each 30-day supply of insulin.

"This is a bill that seeks to take the patient out of the equation," Cruz said. "Let the health plan and big pharma work it out."

Cruz's bill, SB 678, would cap copays for insured at $100 for each 30-day supply. If approved, Florida would join at least 15 other states enacting similar caps.

"When we have a hurricane, we ask the attorney general to stop price gouging, yet this is nothing short of a drug cartel, and we're doing nothing about it while people are dying," Cruz said.

Her bill has made it through committee stops in the past but has not been able to break through to the chamber floor.

Sen. Janet Cruz speaks about her bill to cap the cost of insulin
Sen. Janet Cruz discusses why Florida should join other states in putting a cap on the price of insulin.

It faces opposition from drug and insurance companies, plus members of the GOP majority resistant to caps on the free market.

With prices continuing to rise and suffering along with it, Cruz was hopeful that members wouldn't ignore the issue during the 2022 legislative session.

If signed by the governor, the bill would take effect in January 2023.