OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee today signed SB 5729, which ensures that Washingtonians with diabetes will continue to pay no more than $35 a month for insulin. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines).
In 2022, legislators passed Keiser’s previous insulin bill, which capped the out-of-pocket cost of insulin at $35 a month, but the cap in that bill was scheduled to expire on Jan. 1, 2024. The measure was intended to be temporary while Congress passed legislation to control the cost of insulin at the federal level, but Congress failed to act. Before that, in 2020, the Senate passed legislation sponsored by Keiser to cap the cost for insulin at $100 a month.
This year’s bill, SB 5729, removes the expiration date, so that out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin will be capped at $35 permanently.
“Insulin is a lifesaving drug that was developed a century ago,” said Keiser. “In Canada, you can get it for $5. But in our country, it can cost hundreds of dollars. That means people die because they can’t afford insulin.
“This legislation isn’t a perfect solution — I had hoped that Congress would take action to ensure insulin is affordable for all Americans. But by keeping costs down for people with diabetes, this price cap is going to save lives in Washington.”