ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Senate passed HF 3100 Thursday, a bill establishing an emergency insulin access program. In response to the passage of the bill, Senator Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville) released the following statement:
“Alec Smith passed away in June 2017 at the age of 26, when he was forced to ration insulin he could not afford, a situation no one in Minnesota should have ever had to face. Today’s bill is a step in the right direction, in providing emergency access to insulin for thousands of Minnesotans who are facing skyrocketing costs.
This bill should have been passed last year, and there’s no excuse for delays in establishing this program. This provides much-needed stability, and a short-term lifeline for people struggling with the cost of their insulin.
There is also more work that still needs to be done. I’m disappointed that the bill has a 2.5-year sunset to the program rather than guaranteeing long-term stability. The long-term challenges of affordability and access remain, and I remain committed to working to ensure every Minnesotan can afford the medications they depend on.
I call on my colleagues in the Senate to work to strengthen this bill in the Conference Committee with the House, and to add measures that expand access for Minnesota’s diabetics and hold pharma accountable.”
Two amendments offered by Senator Little were adopted by the Senate for the final bill. The first, renames the bill as the “Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act”. The second amendment that was adopted increases the penalties for pharmaceutical companies that do not participate in the program from a $100,000 yearly penalty to a $100,000 monthly penalty, which would rise to $200,000 per month if the manufacturer continues to be in noncompliance after six months.