DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado could become the first state in the country to cap the cost of insulin for diabetics. Rep. Dylan Roberts is bringing the bill to the state capitol in memory of his brother, Murphy, who died from a fall related to a diabetic seizure.
"We were very close, I mean, Murphy was my best friend."
His brother's compassion for others, Roberts says, helped inspire the bill.
"He was always somebody who thought about all the other kids who may not have been as lucky as him to have health insurance, to have the ability to have access to medication when you have type one diabetes."
Roberts says one in four diabetics are now rationing insulin because of the cost. He says the price of insulin has increased 45 percent in the last five years and 700 percent in the last 20 years.
"In a first world country, we shouldn't have people rationing insulin just because they can't afford it."
The bill would cap monthly co-pays for insulin at $100 a month. They now run between $600 and $900 a month. It would also direct the Colorado Attorney General's Office to investigate what's driving the cost increases all along the supply chain and to compile a report with recommendations on how to address the increases by November 2020.
Just three companies make insulin.
"And these three companies keep raising their prices at the same amount at the same time."
The bill wouldn't have saved his brother Murphy, but Roberts says his brother is helping save others.
"If you have type one diabetes, insulin is like oxygen, you can't survive without it, and what's going on is not right. It shouldn't happen in the United States where somebody is held hostage to a price increase that's out of control."
The bill passed its first committee 9-2. If it becomes law, Colorado would be the first state in the country to cap the cost of insulin and the first to investigate why the price has skyrocketed.
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