Mar 12, 2021 - News
Hundreds received affordable insulin under new Minnesota program
Alec Smith's death after rationing his insulin inspired a new state law. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of Minnesotans with diabetes received life-saving medication at low cost in the first six months of the state's new emergency insulin law, according to a new report from the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy.

The backdrop: The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, which passed with bipartisan support last year, ensures access to a 30-day supply of insulin for a $35 co-pay. The cost of the long-term program is $50 every three months.

  • The goal of the bill, named after a 26-year-old who died after rationing his medicine, was to save people from risking their health over cost concerns.

By the numbers: More than 200 residents were able to access the 30-day supply.

  • Hundreds more enrolled in a program requiring manufacturers to provide insulin to low-income residents at reduced price for up to a year.
  • The bill, which the pharmaceutical industry is challenging in court, cost manufacturers more than $2 million between July and December 2020.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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