CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As U.S. lawmakers decide on a bill that would cap the monthly cost of insulin, a local student is sharing her experience with diabetes.
For 21-year-old Aubrie Waters, insulin is not optional.
“It’s not like it’s something I can just stop taking. I continuously have to have it or else I’ll get sick,” said Waters.
The College of Charleston senior was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 4 years old. She depends on her insulin pump to monitor her blood sugar levels, but she said these measures don’t come cheap.
According to Waters, a monthly supply of insulin can cost nearly $1000 before her family meets their deductible. She said once they hit it, one bottle of the medication costs about $160.
In late March, the House passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act which would cap the monthly cost of insulin at $35.
Dr. Valerie Scott with Roper St. Francis said diabetes is a very expensive disease. She said many patients ration their insulin supply to survive, but it’s not enough to control their disease and that can have life-threatening effects.
While a majority of the House voted for the bill, Representative Nancy Mace voted against it.
In a statement to News 2, the South Carolina congresswoman said:
“The rising cost of prescription drugs, including insulin, is a major issue that I know impacts many families’ access to care here in the Lowcountry. Despite its name, the Affordable Insulin Now Act does not actually lower the price of insulin by a single cent.
At a time when inflation is at a 40-year record high, the last thing American families need is for Congress to pass legislation that once again passes on the savings to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) over patients, who will be left to foot the bill through higher premiums. Instead, I’m fighting to get H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act passed which will actually put money back in the pockets of American families through meaningful reform to the convoluted drug rebate system.”
The bill is now in the Senate. If passed, it will go into effect in 2023.