Beginning in January, Colorado residents who have diabetes won’t pay more than $100 a month out of pocket for insulin. Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Wednesday signed legislation setting a cap on the medication’s costs, making Colorado the first such state to do so.
The law limits co-payments for a 30-day supply of the life-saving drug under private insurance plans to $100. It does not directly change the price of insulin.
“Today we will finally declare that the days of insulin price-gouging are over in Colorado,” Polis said at a signing ceremony covered by CBS Denver.
Rep. Dylan Roberts (D), one of the co-sponsors of the bill, earlier told the Denver Post that Coloradans might expect to pay “a couple of cents, per person, per month,” more for insurance in order to cover the new requirement.
Insulin has become a prime example of runaway drug prices in the United States. Colorado legislators laid out the problem in the text of the bill, stating that insulin prices have increased 555% in the last 14 years, even with inflation taken into account.
Depending on their insurance, some Coloradans had co-payments between $600 and $900 a month for insulin, according to CBS Denver. In a recent Yale study, 1 in 4 insulin users reported underusing the drug due to the cost.
Separately last week, Colorado passed legislation authorizing the state’s health policy and financing department to develop a plan to begin importing prescription drugs from Canada. Any such plan would require federal approval before it could actually go into effect.