Saint Paul, Minn.— Today, the Minnesota Senate passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, an emergency insulin program accessible to the Minnesotans who cannot afford their life-saving drug. Senator Melissa Wiklund released the following statement:
“Today we passed HF 3100, the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, in the House and Senate and I am pleased to have voted for this bill. After this long journey to bill passage today, I want to thank the advocates – they have brought their personal experiences and given us insight into challenges they face in their daily life experiences due to living with diabetes. What I and others have learned from them has shaped this bill.
I am so appreciative of being able to work with constituents Nicole Smith-Holt and James Holt Jr., who has worked tirelessly to help others after losing their son to insulin rationing when he could not afford his insulin. Working on the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act has allowed me to play a part in helping someone like Alec find support when they are facing challenges accessing and affording insulin.
My focus over the past 15-plus months has been to come to an agreement on a bill that will help those who struggle to afford their insulin and are facing life-threatening consequences due to the extremely high costs they face. The agreement we have reached in the conference committee report will help those in urgent need of insulin by providing access to an emergency supply and assist others who need an affordable solution longer-term. It requires manufacturers to be part of the solution. In order for us to reach this agreement, we had to compromise. Although this is a step in the right direction, this bill still does not bring down the overall cost of insulin for all diabetics which is a goal we must continue to work towards.
As we work to address the COVID-19 pandemic, passing this bill becomes even more critical as lives are disrupted in so many ways. I am extremely happy to see the passage today of HF 3100. Once the Governor signs the bill, implementation can begin and there will soon be a safety net in place to prevent another Minnesotan from feeling like they must go without their insulin.”
A copy of the legislation can be found here.