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Senator Heather Carter calls for affordability and access to lifesaving insulin

Senator Heather Carter has initiated an urgent inquiry into Arizona’s pharmaceutical supply chain and the absence of Eli Lilly’s Insulin Lispro Injection, weeks after Lilly promoted its availability in pharmacies nationwide. Insulin Lispro is an authorized generic drug treatment for diabetes patients offered at half the cost of name-brand insulin yet is mysteriously missing from pharmaceutical shelves in Arizona.

A local survey of diabetes advocates, retail pharmacies and the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers reveals that Arizonans with diabetes cannot fill prescriptions with the lower cost Insulin Lispro; retail pharmacists cannot order Insulin Lispro from suppliers; and wholesalers/distributers do not stock, nor can they order Insulin Lispro from the manufacturer.

Senator Carter, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, is joining the Arizona American Diabetes Association and the Arizona Diabetes Coalition in combating the high costs of insulin and disease management.

“As co-chair of the Arizona Diabetes Workgroup, we have seen the cost of insulin skyrocket, pricing out too many people from acquiring this lifesaving medication. It is confounding that a less expensive generic version exists but is missing from the Arizona pharmaceutical marketplace. Virtually every Arizonan knows somebody affected by diabetes and finding them access to cheaper alternatives is the right thing to do,” said Senator Carter.

Senator Carter monitored the recent insulin affordability hearings of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the US House Committee on Energy & Commerce and looks forward to Arizona doing the same. She plans to work on this issue during the interim and next session.

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