SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill aimed at preventing insurance companies from charging more than $35 for a 30-day supply of insulin.
The bill sought to prohibit health plans and disability insurance policies from imposing out-of-pocket expenses on insulin prescription drugs exceeding $35, including deductibles and co-pays.
Earlier this year, Newsom, a Democrat, announced that California would launch its own brand of insulin in an effort to address the exorbitant costs. By partnering with the nonprofit pharmaceutical company Civica Rx, the state secured a $50 million contract to manufacture insulin under the brand name CalRx. The state will sell a 10 milliliter vial of insulin for $30.
In his message explaining the veto, Newsom stated, "With CalRx, we are tackling the root cause, which is the true sustainable solution to high-cost pharmaceuticals. However, with copay caps, the long-term costs are still shifted to consumers through higher health plan premiums."
Wiener added, "This missed opportunity means they will have to endure months or even years before receiving any relief from the mounting burden of medical expenses."
Insulin is a crucial hormone produced by the pancreas that aids in converting sugar into energy. Individuals with diabetes lack sufficient insulin production, necessitating regular intake of the hormone, particularly for those with Type 1 diabetes.
Earlier this year, California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against insulin manufacturers and promoters, alleging illegal collusion leading to price hikes.
While some progress was made in March when the major insulin manufacturers announced voluntary price reductions for their products, the battle to address affordability concerns continues.
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