SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Eveleth patient Travis Paulson, who lives with type 1 diabetes, will testify in front of the Minnesota House State Government Finance and Elections Committee this afternoon in support of the bipartisan legislation HF 801, which would establish a prescription drug affordability board designed to address the high prices of prescription drugs for Minnesotans.
Paulson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 and has struggled to keep up with the high price of insulin in recent years. His insulin, which he needs to survive, currently costs $300 a vial, which comes to $1,500 per month. Paulson has had to work odd jobs, living paycheck to paycheck in order to stay alive.
“Unfortunately for me, years of rationing insulin has caused long-term complications that never would have occurred if I had access to affordable insulin,” Paulson will tell the committee.
“These out-of-control drug prices have serious consequences for Minnesota patients and contribute to excessive costs for the state. We need our state government to pass House File 801, which would rein in drug prices while increasing transparency around the pricing practices of drug companies. Because drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.”
HF 801 would:
- Establish a prescription drug affordability commission and an advisory council. These entities would work together to analyze drug pricing data and determine which drugs are excessively priced and cause affordability challenges.
- If a drug is found to create an affordability challenge, the commission may establish an upper payment limit to all drug purchasers and payers in Minnesota.
The hearing and Paulson’s testimony can be watched here at 6:00 PM CT.
The bill was previously heard in the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee, where patient advocate Ramae Hamrin testified in support of the bill. It passed out of committee on a 11 to 7 vote.