Michigan House Republicans
VanderWall plan would reduce insulin costs, create Michigan jobs
RELEASE|March 5, 2024

State Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) recently delivered testimony before the House Health Policy Committee on his bipartisan plan to reduce insulin costs and create jobs in the state of Michigan.

Insulin costs are a serious concern across the country. Medicare data shows that between 2014 and 2019, the average annual insulin price rose 55% from $3,819 to $5,917. Monthly out-of-pocket cost for insulin during that time increased 18% from $49 to $58.

With one in 10 residents having diabetes, Michigan has not been immune to the rising cost of diabetic health care.

VanderWall’s House Bill 4890 would create a regulatory framework for the state to partner with a private sector contractor for the production of insulin for Michigan residents. The contractor would be eligible for grants as well as be required to provide the insulin with transparent pricing for private sector sales and provide the state the ability to purchase insulin directly.

The program would also create high quality jobs in Michigan, which already has a vibrant pharmaceutical industry, and lower the cost of shipping.

“The key part of this legislation is that the state will own the drug label, making it automatically available to people on both public and private insurance without the added costs of a pharmacy benefit manager,” VanderWall said during his testimony. “In fact, PBMs won’t be allowed to restrict access to this drug at all. No mark-up, no rebates, no games. Just affordable, quality, Michigan-made insulin for our residents.”

The representative also said the plan is geared toward free choice. Individuals will still be able to choose to use a different insulin drug, doctors can recommend a different choice, and pharmaceutical companies can compete with the new product.

“These bills will put Michigan on the cutting-edge of health solutions in the country and the world,” said VanderWall, Republican vice chair of the Health Policy Committee. “We’re optimistic this plan will drive the cost of insulin below $50 a month, with hopes of dwindling it closer to $30 in years to come.”

The representative also hopes the Michigan-made drug will be exported to other states, helping more American citizens and helping offset costs of the facility.

The plan was introduced in partnership with Rep. Jennifer Conlin (D-Ann Arbor). The bipartisan nature of the plan, and the governor’s backing of it means it’s likely on the fast track for state law.

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