California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday that the state will start to make its own insulin as a way to combat the high prices of the medication that millions of people's lives depend on.
Newsom said that the budget he signed for 2022-2023 will allocate $100 million for California to make their own insulin at a cheaper price and have it be more available for all those in need.
"California is going to make its own insulin," Newsom said in the video. “Nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin. Many Americans experience out-of-pocket costs anywhere from $300 to $500 per month for this lifesaving drug.
"California is now taking matters into our own hands. The budget I just signed sets aside $100 million so we can contract and make our own insulin at a cheaper price, close to at cost, and to make it available to all."
Newsom went on to say that of the $100 million, half will go towards the development of low-cost products, and the other half will be used to build a California-based insulin manufacturing facility.
It has not be announced how much the state's insulin will cost or when it will eventually be released, according to The Washington Post. The outlet added that "some of the list prices for the drug can range from $125 to more than $500."
California is not the first state to take a stance against the price of insulin, as Colorado capped insulin co-payments for those with private insurance in 2019, according to CBS News. Additionally, the U.S. House passed a bill in April that capped the monthly cost of insulin for insured patients at $35.
There are 37.3 million people in the United States that have diabetes, accounting for 11.3% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among those people, more than 7 million require daily insulin. Although, 14% that need insulin are drastically overspending on the medication, according to Yale researchers.
"According to their findings, 14% of people who use insulin in the United States face what are described as a 'catastrophic' levels of spending on insulin, meaning they spent at least 40% of their postsubsistence income — what is available after paying for food and housing — on insulin."
The Let's Get Healthy California government website says that the state has the highest number of new cases of diabetes in the country.
"The 2012 baseline for the number of adults with diabetes per 100 is 9.2," the website said. "In 2018, we were at 10.4 and hope to reach 7.0 or lower by 2022."
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