ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Congressman Joe Morelle hosted a press conference at the University of Rochester Medical Center Friday afternoon on legislation he’s hoping will lower the price of insulin.
Morelle says no one should have to struggle severely with diabetes without help from the federal government.
As many know, insulin helps your body turn food into energy; when you have diabetes, and you’re not producing insulin, obviously, things can go wrong.
Morelle is hoping this legislation will allow the government to buy insulin in bulk which will help bring down prices.
“We believe — and any large group knows — buying in bulk allows you to drive down the cost — to basically have, by law, a prohibition on medicare negotiating as it’s working through Part-D and purchasing drugs in vast amounts, in order to pay for drugs in vast amounts. It’s against everything we know about economics and it’s trying to protect the pharmaceutical industry,” said Morelle.
The high cost of insulin affects low-income older adults the most. One 73-year-old retired teacher on a fixed budget requires two different types of insulin daily. She spends $815 dollars every three months, which for her is a big hit.
“We should not have to suffer and struggle in order to survive. Our senior years should be less stressful — and we should not have to choose between having good health, good nutrition, and affordable housing in order to purchase insulin,” said Francine Comacho.
Morelle says much of the time, the US foots the bill for other nations.
“There are price controls in various places: Australia, the United Kingdom — so Americans basically pay the difference and subsidize the rest of the world community. Well, our attitude is, ‘okay, well that’s not in the interest of Americans,'” said Morelle.
Morelle says the bill is in the Senate now, and this could be included in the Reconciliation Package.