Insulin and EpiPens are not within financial reach for some Missourians. A Kansas City area lawmaker is looking to cap those prices.

State Representative Sean Pouche’s bill proposes to restrict how much insurance companies make Missourians pay for insulin and EpiPens.

“When it was created in 1977, the cost was $57,” according to Pouche. “A two pack two years ago was $700 for the same stuff. I understand the insurance companies and the manufacturers are saying they’ve created much better delivery things and easier to track and easier to monitor, I understand that. However, people can’t afford that. We have to have an option.”

The bill proposes to cap the amount that an insurance company makes the public purchase in Missouri for a 30 day supply of epinephrine auto-injectors or prescription drugs to an amount not to exceed $100, regardless of the quantity or type used to fill the prescription. Pouche adds that the limit can be increased yearly based on the medical care component of the Consumer Price Index.

“I don’t believe, however, there’s enough competition in this market,” Pouche stated. “There are only three, basically, manufacturers of insulin that provide 90% of it. I think that’s created a sort of monopoly by these three.”

The cities of Springfield and Kansas City don’t support the idea, because they say it could raise health insurance premiums.

Pouche, a Republican, thinks price controls need to be put in place on auto-injectors and prescription insulin drugs at the federal level, because he says it’s not just a Missouri issue.

“I think President Biden has started last summer to limit insulin costs out of pocket at $35 for Medicare however that doesn’t change the cost that the manufacturers are charging,” explained Pouche. “Therefore the insurance companies are picking up the base of that tab and it’s going to roll into higher premiums for everybody else. I think we’ve got more to go.”

A House committee could vote on his bill at any time.

Click here for more information on House Bill 342.

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