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Mazzochi vote against lower insulin prices


Last updated 11/20/2019 at 5:22pm | View PDF

Both legislative houses of Illinois voted overwhelmingly this past week to cap what diabetics pays for insulin to $100 a month. Majorities of both Democrats and Republicans voted yes, yet Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (IL-47) refused to support the bill. She spoke against it on the floor, suggesting that drug companies would shift costs around. They would continue to make huge windfall profits. It’s a remarkable admission from a representative who made a career of defending pharmaceutical companies in court.

I learned I had diabetes earlier this year. I also learned that almost 1/3 of those on insulin ration the life-saving drug with dire consequences, because its price has nearly tripled in recent years. Just three companies control the market, and pricing is so confusing that the American Diabetes Association concluded, “it is unclear precisely how the dollars flow and how much each intermediary profits.” The fact that we have near-monopolies and no functioning free market for insulin is exactly why we need bills like this one to make sure people don’t have to choose between insulin and groceries. The patent for insulin was sold for $3 in 1921. So when Rep. Mazzochi talks about costs, it’s clear she’s really talking about putting profits over people’s lives. — Reid McCollum, Hinsdale


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