Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act and a package of legislation updating the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  State Representative Jeff Brand (DFL – St. Peter) voted for both bills.

“No Minnesotan should have to put their physical or financial health in jeopardy in order to get the insulin they need to survive,” said Rep. Brand. “The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act is a testament to the tireless work of insulin advocates, and puts Minnesotans ahead of the profits of drug manufacturers. The legislation we passed today in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the latest step in our efforts to ensure our communities can remain responsive and flexible to the needs of Minnesotans during these trying times.”

The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act will ensure that Minnesotans who cannot afford their insulin and are facing an emergency need can access a 30-day supply at their pharmacy for a co-pay of $35. Eligible Minnesotans include those who are uninsured, under-insured, receiving Medicare, and who do not have access to low co-pays. The legislation also streamlines the process by which Minnesotans can access affordable insulin in the long-term. Insulin manufacturers would participate in the program and could be fined up to $3.6 million a year, doubling in the second year, for non-compliance.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Minnesota, the legislation passed today provides flexibility to local governments, agencies, and Minnesotans. This is the fourth package of legislation passed by the Minnesota House updating the state’s response to COVID-19.

A copy of the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act can be found here, the COVID-19 legislation can be found here, and a video recording of the House floor session can be found on the House Public Information YouTube page. Both bills are expected to be passed by the Minnesota Senate and signed by Governor Walz.