health care

New Law Requiring Emergency Insulin and Diabetes Prescription Supplies Taking Effect Jan. 1


A new state law will take effect January 1 that will require pharmacists to dispense a 30-day emergency supply of diabetes-related drugs and devices.

By 2022, the law will put a price cap on the dispensing of those supplies for diabetics with less than a one-week supply of medicine or equipment, according to the office of State Sen. Derek Slap.

The bill was first introduced in February 2020 and was passed into law in July 2020. The bill passed 142-4.

On January 1, 2021, patients will be able to inform their pharmacist if they have less than a week’s supplies of diabetes-related medication or supplies. The pharmacist  can issue the drugs or supplies after checking with the state’s emergency drug monitoring program and using their professional judgement.

"It's unconscionable that anyone should have to limit or go without a common and widely-available life-saving drug on an emergency basis in America in 2021, said State Sen. Slap said in a press release. “The Connecticut legislature stepped in to help resolve this crisis, and our residents will be better for it.”

According to the state public health department, nearly 10%, or about 275,000 Connecticut residents have diabetes, which is the seventh leading cause of death in the state.

The new law, Connecticut House Bill 6003, will also limit the cost for insulin to $25 for a 30-day supply to those with state-regulated health insurance and limit the cost for diabetes-related supplies, such as pumps, blood sugar meters and syringes to $100 on January 1, 2022.

The Health Care Cost Institute reports that the annual insulin cost for diabetics has nearly doubles between 2012 to 2016 raising from $2,865 to $5,700.

A section of the bill capping out-of-pocket expenses at $100 per year takes effect on January 1, 2022.

Correction (December 22, 2020; 11:20 a.m.): A previous version of this story stated the $25 cap goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Those co-pay caps do not go into effect until January 1, 2022.

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