Some Kentuckians fighting to stop insulin price hikes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Some in Lexington are joining a nationwide cry to lower the cost of insulin.

Insulin Bottles, Photo Date: 11/3/15 / Cropped Photo: Alan Levine / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

A group met Monday night to talk strategy, and for some, survival.

"I've been an airline employee laid off. I've moved in with my parents. I've borrowed money, and I've done a lot of things just to afford the one thing I need to survive, and that's insulin," said Angela Lautner, who leads the Insulin for All charge in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

Lautner has lived with type 1 diabetes for 19 years.

"There's not been any change to this insulin. It went to market at about $25 in 1996, and now the list price is about $275," Lautner said.

Those with diabetes aren't the only ones fighting for a lower price. Larry Smith has a daughter with type 1 diabetes. He blames pharmacy benefit managers for the high prices, and he wants their compensation limited.

"A lot of people blame the pharmaceuticals, but there's middlemen in there that I think are the real problem," Smith said.

The group is calling on the public to contact lawmakers to support regulatory changes in the market.

Rep. Danny Bently, R-Russell, has pre-filed a bill relating to prescription insulin. BR-105 would cap the cost sharing requirements for prescription insulin at $100 per 30 day supply.

There is also a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Senate to roll back insulin price hikes.