On Dec. 18, MPhA Executive Director Sarah Derr and MPhA Public Affairs Committee co-chair Jeff Lindoo testified before the Minnesota Legislature’s Insulin Working Group (WG) meeting. The WG is made up of three senators and three representatives and is chaired by Rep. Michael Howard (DFL) and Senator Eric Pratt (R). The Legislature has been trying since the 2019 legislative session to help patients be able to afford their insulin. There was no agreement during last session on how to solve the affordability problem for a subset of patients who use insulin.
Several legislators worked over the summer and into the fall to craft a legislative solution. Gov. Walz has said he would call a special session for this single issue if there is an agreed-upon solution. In November, legislative leadership formed the WG and appointed its members.
The WG is discussing both an emergency and a long-term insulin patient assistance program. The program would be set up to resolve the issue of patients being unable to afford their insulin medication. Derr and Lindoo spoke about the importance of keeping the dispensing of medications in the pharmacy rather than at the clinic, as is envisioned in the Senate’s long-term program language. Lindoo spoke about the systems that pharmacies have set up and why pharmacists are best positioned to dispense insulin. Several patients focused their testimony during the public commentary portion of the meeting on the importance of keeping dispensing in the pharmacy.