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Bills proposed in Michigan legislature would improve access to insulin

Michigan Senate considers legislation to improve access to insulin
Posted at 6:13 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 09:47:32-04

LANSING, Mich. — Two bills proposed in the Michigan legislature would help people with diabetes have access to insulin even if they’ve run out of prescriptions.

Senate Bill 155, proposed by state Sen. Kevin Daley, R - Lum, would allow pharmacists to give a 30-day supply of insulin to patients who have no refills on file.

Its companion bill, Senate Bill 156, would allow this emergency refill to be covered through health insurance.

Diabetes in Michigan

Close to one in 10 adults in Michigan have diabetes, which can cause serious complications such as strokes, heart attacks, seizures and blindness. Man rely on insulin.

Gary Dougherty is the director of state government affairs at the American Diabetes Association. He says these bills were inspired by an Ohio man who died because he couldn’t get access to an insulin refill. Right now, 17 states have passed similar legislation.

Insulin in Michigan

“He died before he was able to reach is healthcare provider over that holiday. His name was Kevin Houdeshell. And as a result, Ohio was the first state to pass what is known as Kevin’s Law. It was passed back in 2016,“ Dougherty said.

He estimates that more than 200,000 people in Michigan with diabetes need insulin to survive.

The Cost of Insulin

While says the proposed legislation is important, he also said the medicine needs to become more affordable.

The bills have been referred to the Committee on Health Policy and Human Services for further review.

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