Rep. Kelly to Trump: Help lower the cost of insulin
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) is calling on President Donald Trump for help with one of his top legislative goals.
In just four months, a provision to make a true generic form of insulin expires. So as costs continue to rise, Kelly is urging Trump to back his legislation that aims to reduce the political red tape in the Food and Drug Administration and the rising cost of insulin.
In the letter sent to the White House on Thursday, Kelly urged the president to take decisive executive action to solve the problem. "Mr. President, you can take decisive, executive action to begin fixing this problem,” Kelly said in the letter. “You can help those suffering from diabetes in America who cannot afford life-saving insulin."
The cost of insulin has skyrocketed, up over 600 percent since 2001 due in part to limited competition. Just three companies produce insulin, and there are only a handful of cheaper options. But none are as cheap as a true generic.
Thirty-million Americans live with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association; more than 7 million are Type-1 diabetics, meaning they need insulin to survive.
Kelly is the vice chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. He himself is a Type-2 diabetic. The fifth-term Republican is hoping the president will back his legislation known as the “MAGIC Act”, which would require the FDA to make insulin eligible for generic production.
But Kelly says Trump has the legal authority to force the FDA’s hand now, and act before the March 23, 2020 deadline.
“When the cost of staying healthy exceeds what you can afford, people ration (insulin). That’s not what we want to see happen,” Kelly told Erie News Now. “A clear and permanent pathway to develop a generic substitute, which would slash the price of it, make it more affordable, and people could take their full dosage is the key to it right now.”
You can read Kelly’s letter to Trump and learn more about the MAGIC Act here.