Concerns About SB 265 Discussed At Diabetes Day Press Conference - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Concerns About SB 265 Discussed At Diabetes Day Press Conference

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Nevadans from all across the state who suffer from diabetes gathered at a press conference at the Nevada State Legislature Wednesday, hosted by Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford and Senator Yvanna Cancela. 

They voiced their concerns and discussed Senate Bill 265, which aims to control the high cost of insulin and diabetes medications. Cancela says addressing this issue is crucial, as it's estimated that one million Nevadans suffer from diabetes or are pre-diabetic and the cost of insulin rose almost 400% from 2006 to 2013, alone.

SB 265 would address both insulin price increases and transparency. The bill would establish certain insulin-related medicines to be treated as essential for patient survival. It would also create a refund when insulin costs exceed the medical consumer price index (CPI).

Hospitals would be required to report their billed charges and profits through quarterly reports, while health plans would have to report and prove they do not make more than a 20% profit off of these medications. It would also require information from drug manufacturers--from how prices are set, the cost of medications and the amount of money spent on research. 

Cancela told us the only public opposition to the bill, so far, is from the pharmaceutical industry. Patients like Keyonna Lawrence, a single mother who works five days a week, says affording her diabetes medications is nearly impossible. With tears in her eyes at Wednesday's press conference, she begs both lawmakers and the pharmaceutical industry to listen, "These are the things we need to take to stay alive, if I don't get it, my end result is ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

The next step for this bill is to add amendments before being heard before the senate floor. If passed, the bill would go on to be heard by the assembly. If passed there, it would go to Governor Sandoval for final approval.

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