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Rep. Porter Holds Roundtable on Type 1 Diabetes with Medical Experts, Local Advocates, and Families Living with T1

Congresswoman heard from 45th District stakeholders about dangerous spike in cost of insulin

IRVINE – Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) hosted a roundtable discussion this week on Type 1 Diabetes with leading medical experts, local advocates, and children and families living with Type 1 Diabetes.

“Today’s roundtable is about really asking whether Orange County families are getting what we’re paying for in health coverage,” Porter said. “This new freshman class in Congress ran and won on health care. Part of that is pushing areas of the Affordable Care Act that fall short, or simply do not go far enough to give Americans the high quality care they need.”

Americans living with Type 1 Diabetes are at the forefront of those hit hardest with rising drug costs. A single vile of two teaspoons of insulin can cost $300 for 28 days of dosages—with a retail price of $695.99.

At the roundtable, Mike Avery of the Pediatric-Adolescent Diabetes Research & Education (PADRE) held up his medical bill stating, “I paid $236.14 for my insulin. This was after my insurance ‘saved’ me $459.85. On a given year, I spend over $9,000 in insulin and diabetes supplies.”

Dr. Nikta Forghani, Endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), said “It is unethical to see insulin that has been on the market for over 20 years increase in price. A Type 1 Diabetic has 2-3 days to live without insulin. It is a lifesaving drug.”

Other participants included the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Project Blue November, Beta Bionics, and Dexcom.

Earlier this year, a report requested by Porter from the House Oversight and Reform Committee found that an estimated 17,000 seniors and Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities in the 45th District were diagnosed with diabetes. The top 50 medications for diabetes cost the Medicare program and beneficiaries approximately $11.9 million in 2016.

Congresswoman Porter has made increasing access to affordable, high-quality healthcare a top priority. Earlier this month, she condemned the Trump Administration’s legal campaign to eliminate all of the healthcare protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, including protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. In February, she joined Rep. Lloyd Doggett as a lead sponsor of legislation that would allow the Medicare program to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.