Skip to content

Shaheen, Collins Announce Additional Bipartisan Cosponsors for INSULIN Act, Would Cut Insulin Costs for Millions More Americans

**Shaheen and Collins are co-chairs the Senate Diabetes Caucus and have led legislation to address insulin costs and invest in diabetes research for more than a decade**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), co-chairs of the U.S. Senate Diabetes Caucus, today announced the addition of twelve bipartisan cosponsors for their Improving Needed Safeguards for Users of Lifesaving Insulin Now (INSULIN) Act of 2023, which would comprehensively address the skyrocketing costs of insulin, removing barriers to care and making insulin more accessible for millions of Americans. Joining Shaheen and Collins on this bill are U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Katie Britt (R-AL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

“Access to insulin is a financial burden for many Americans who rely on it to survive. Keeping this medication within their reach is literally a matter of life and death, which is why we’ve long led action in the U.S. Senate to cut costs and why we’re redoubling our efforts through the INSULIN Act to comprehensively address the scope of this problem,” said Shaheen and Collins. “We are pleased that so many of our colleagues—on both sides of the aisle—agree and are joining us on this effort. Americans living with diabetes and the ones who love them cannot wait any longer for Congress to act – the time is now.”

The Senators continued, “We are encouraged by the proactive steps taken by private companies, but that is a drop in the bucket on action that is needed to lower prices across the board and keep them there. Our legislation would address structural issues in the insulin market, create policies to foster more competition and expand access to insulin medications. This bill is the product of continued negotiations, with input from advocates, lawmakers and experts.”

The INSULIN Act would directly address the root problems in the insulin market causing high list prices, while simultaneously extending vital patient protections, fostering competition, and broadening access to needed insulin products. Bill text of the INSULIN Act is available here.

A new report from the American Diabetes Association that shows the cost of diabetes in America, including the cost of insulin, continues to skyrocket for patients and the federal government. More than 37 million Americans live with diabetes, including an estimated one in every three seniors. The disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, claiming over 100,000 lives in 2021. It is also the most expensive chronic condition in the nation, costing Americans a combined total of $412.9 billion per year. The rising cost of insulin presents a barrier to care for a growing number of Americans living with diabetes; 1 in 4 individuals report reducing insulin use due to cost.

The INSULIN Act of 2023 would:

  • Limit out-of-pocket costs for patients with diabetes by ensuring that group and individual market health plans must waive any deductible and limit cost-sharing to no more than $35 or 25% of list price per month for at least one insulin of each type and dosage form.
    • Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) would be prohibited from placing utilization management tools – prior authorization, step therapy, etc. – on products with capped out-of-pocket costs.
  • Mandate PBMs pass through 100% of insulin rebates and other discounts received from manufacturers to plan sponsors, reducing perverse incentives in the insulin market that encourage high list prices and helping patients in the form of reduced premiums. 
  • Promote generic and biosimilar competition to lower costs to patients by:
    • Creating a new expedited FDA approval pathway for biologic drugs lacking biosimilar competition, similar to FDA’s current Competitive Generic Therapies pathway;
      • This will improve the timeliness of resolving regulatory barriers slowing down market entry of lower cost products;
    • Ensuring adequate oversight of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) citizen petition process, easing approval of generic and biosimilar drugs;
    • Allowing Medicare Part D plans to place biosimilar drugs on formulary immediately after entering the market, identical to other generic drugs; and,
    • Requiring the Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and FDA, to issue a report to Congress on issues and market dynamics delaying or restricting biosimilar insulin competition.

As co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Shaheen and Collins have led action in the U.S. Senate to advance priorities that will lower the costs of insulin, invest in treatment and prioritize diabetes research. Recently, the Senators penned a joint op-ed about the importance of lowering the cost of insulin. The Senators have worked to increase awareness of the threats posed by diabetes, invest in research and improve access to treatment options. They have consistently held insulin manufacturers, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers accountable for the skyrocketing cost of life-saving insulin. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Collins commended drug manufacturers Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi’s actions to lower their list prices for their insulin products.