Fifteen take advantage of Canadian insulin trip

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – About 15 people made the approximately 600 mile round trip from Morgantown to Niagara Falls, Canada to purchase low-cost insulin Sunday.

The trip was organized by Monongalia County Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer and Adrian Olmstead from the local chapter of West Virginia Insulin For All.

Between 2012 and 2016 the cost of insulin nearly doubled, during the same period the cost of Humira has gone from $1,940 to $4,338 and the story continues as the cost of 36 other popular prescription drugs have increased more than 50-percent.

Olmstead says she was able to save a significant amount of money.

“At least a three month upply of short acting and long acting insulin and probably saved around$400,”Olmstead said.

Increased costs have led to rationing or not taking insulin that has resulted in hospitalization or death.

Fleischauer says she is working with Jordan Hill, Chair of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, to pass legislation that would limit the co-pay for insulin. It’s modeled after the Colorado law that limits the co-pay to $50. Fleischauer also says she has co-sponsored legislation to allow pharmacies to fill emergency prescriptions for life-saving medicine (sometimes called Kevin’s law) after Kevin Houdeshell, who died after a pharmacy would not fill his expired insulin prescription on New Year’s Eve.

But, she says passing the bill during a 60-day session will be a challenge.

“We have drafts of bills we’ve been working on,”Fleischauer said,”I hope we can get it in, it’s very short because it has to go through the committee process, it has to be voted on three separate times in the house and the senate.”