Media Advisory for Feb 2nd 2021
Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer: firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-319-2423
Delegate Matthew Rohrbach: email@example.com, 304-563-9040
Gary Abernathy, American Diabetes Assn: GDougherty@diabetes.org; 614-726-0801
Jessica Ice, PhD, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care (WVAHC): firstname.lastname@example.org; 304-322-0074
BIPARTISAN EFFORT LAUNCHES TO MAKE DIABETES DRUGS & SUPPLIES MORE AFFORDABLE
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A virtual press conference will take place at 2:45 on Tuesday, February 2nd over Zoom to announce a bipartisan effort to pass legislation to make diabetes treatment more affordable. Here is the zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81202445166?pwd=T0RKdGFnMVFYUGpDbE5jRW5Bb0NrQT09
Following a bus caravan by West Virginians to Canada to purchase cheaper insulin, in 2020, the West Virginia Legislature passed HB 4543 which capped co-pays for insulin at $100 per month in plans covered by West Virginia law.
Inspired by passage of a Connecticut law, two of the last year’s bill’s sponsors, Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, and Delegate Matt Rohrbach, R-Cabell, are teaming up to sponsor legislation in the 2021 session that will cap co-pays caps for supplies, equipment and non-insulin drugs to treat diabetes.
According to Delegate Fleischauer, “it used to be that those diagnosed in childhood did not survive past their teenage years. Newer devices and equipment, if families can afford them, mean their lives will not be cut short.”
Patients, family members and advocates will share how they are managing or why they have to forgo expensive out-of-pocket costs for treatment. One of the speakers will be Maggie Reider, a middle school teacher whose son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in first grade. “Families should not have to break the bank to pay for things like glucose monitors and insulin pumps, that help people with diabetes live a more normal life,” she said.
Delegate Rohrbach agreed. “One of my constituents with decent insurance just spent over $2,000 for a pump for her son that pairs with her phone, his phone and a glucometer. The family also pays $422 for additional supplies every 90 days in addition to the cost of insulin. These types of devices can make a big difference in both the quality and the length of people’s lives.”
Gary Dougherty, Government Affairs Director for the American Diabetes Association will share an update on what is happening around the country relating to diabetes legislation and how members of his organization are affected by affordability issues.