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Rep. Howard, Sen. Murphy introduce legislation capping co-pays for prescription drugs on life-saving medications

Monday, March 15, 2021

St. Paul, MN - Tomorrow, legislation introduced by Representative Michael Howard (DFL - Richfield) and Senator Erin Murphy (DFL - Saint Paul), HF 2056, will receive its first hearing in the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee. The legislation would cap co-pays at $25 per month on state-regulated health plans for prescription drugs and medical supplies that treat chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma. This legislation targets needed relief to Minnesotans that have been most vulnerable during the pandemic and would be another positive step in the ongoing fight for affordable prescription drugs.   

“Minnesotans with chronic conditions always face the high stress of affording their life-saving medication, and that has only been magnified during the pandemic,” said Rep. Howard. “This bill recognizes that all actors in our health care system have a role to play in making prescription drugs affordable and is a reasonable step that puts patients first.”   

The bill would focus on helping Minnesotans who suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, and severe allergic reactions - notably capping insulin, asthma inhalers, and EpiPens at $25 a month. The listed price of these medications have soared over the past decade, putting incredible stress on Minnesotans to manage their health. More than 400,000 Minnesotans have been diagnosed with asthma and more than 500,000 Minnesotans have either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

“It is unacceptable that anyone is forced to leave prescriptions unfilled at the pharmacy counter, skip doses, or forgo care because of cost,” said Sen. Murphy. “No Minnesotan should die because they can’t afford life-saving medications like insulin or not having an inhaler. We must work to hold down prescription drug costs and ensure vital medications are affordable for all Minnesotans.”

Since Colorado capped co-pays for insulin with bipartisan support in 2019, more than two dozen states have considered similar legislation.  

Tomorrow’s hearing will take place at 3pm, with any legislation not taken up during 3-4:30pm being heard at 7pm. More information on tomorrow’s hearing can be found on the committee webpage