Senator Amy Klobuchar Targets Insulin Pricing in Presidential Kick-Off Speech

-Craig Idlebrook

In this election cycle, it seems that bipartisan pressure is building for legislative action to combat high drug prices, including insulin prices. Now, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has included a call to action on high insulin prices in her speech announcing her 2020 candidacy for president.

In the speech, she discusses the death of Alec Raeshawn Smith, a Minnesotan who died because of insulin rationing due to cost.  

Her section on insulin affordability begins at the 17:10 mark. Here’s what she had to say, courtesy of a transcript by The Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

That’s what I mean by shared prosperity.

But we won’t get there if people can’t afford their health care and that means getting to universal health care and bringing down the costs of prescription drugs.

Last week my guest to the State of the Union, who is here again with me today, was Nicole Smith-Holt.

Nicole’s son Alec, a 26-year-old restaurant manager from the southern suburbs, aged off his parents’ health insurance.

Three days short of his payday, Alec, a diabetic, wasn’t able to afford his insulin. He tried rationing it to save money. Tragically it didn’t work. He died. This disgrace should never have happened in the United States of America. Not with a simple drug that’s been around for nearly a century.

The obstacle to change? The big pharma companies think they own Washington. Well they don’t own me. And they don’t own Nicole.

We are teaming up to pass meaningful legislation to bring in competitive safe drugs from other countries. To stop big pharma’s practice of paying off generic companies to keep their products off the market. We’re going to harness the negotiating power of 43 million seniors… that’s a lot of negotiating power… and lift the ban on negotiating cheaper drug prices under Medicare.

At press time, the campaign’s website does not seem to include information about Senator Klobuchar’s policy proposals. You can read the complete text of her speech here.

Want more type 1 diabetes-related news stories, and the chance to help type 1 diabetes research? Take a moment to join T1D Exchange Glu now by clicking here.

Sign in or Register to view comments.