Greetings – In my last update, I let you know about some of the bills I’m working on to require firearms training for concealed pistol license applicants, protect teens and young adults from the dangers of high-potency marijuana concentrates, and prohibit marijuana advertising aimed at kids.
These are important issues aimed at improving public health for all Washingtonians. There are several other public health bills sponsored by my colleagues I am actively supporting.
Making prescriptions drugs more affordable
Access to prescription drugs can literally be a matter of life and death for thousands of people. Unfortunately, the costs of many drugs have skyrocketed in recent years. All too often the rising prices have nothing to do with actual drug production costs and delivery to the patient.
It’s been almost 100 years since the first patient was injected with insulin to treat diabetes. Yet costs for this drug, which more than 30 million Americans need to live, are rising at an alarming pace.
The inventors of insulin sold their patent for $1 because they wanted this lifesaving drug to be available to all. But in the last 15 years, the price has tripled.
There is absolutely no reason for someone to be forced to chose between paying rent or paying for life-saving medication that’s been around for nearly a century. When drug company CEOs like Martin Shkreli raise prices from $13.50 to $750 overnight with no explanation, it’s difficult to believe these decisions are made for any reason other than pure greed.
Patients should always come before profits. Lawmakers have heard so many heartfelt stories from patients who are struggling, which is why we’re taking meaningful steps to end this fleecing and ensure patients have access to affordable prescription drugs.
- SB 6087 helps stop price gouging by limiting out-of-pocket expenses for a month’s supply of insulin to $100.
- SB 6113 will create a centralized purchasing process for insulin based on the approach used by the state to purchase childhood vaccines.
- SB 6088 will establish a prescription drug affordability board that would review prices to see if maximum price caps are needed.
Other public health issues we’re working on
- SB 6254 will place additional restrictions around the vaping industry aimed at reversing the skyrocketing number of youth who regularly use vape products, now more than 5 million.
- SB 6526 will allow pharmacies to accept drug returns and reuse some prescription drugs, and allow for pharmacies to donate certain drugs to other pharmacies for redistribution.
- SB 6455 will require restaurants to offer healthy beverage options like water, milk, or a low-calorie option for any kids meals that come with a drink.
These are just a few of the many bills we’re working on to put people first, and make health care more accessible and affordable. You can follow these issues and many others at leg.wa.gov, or watch our deliberations at tvw.org. And you can check for updates on my website and my Senate Facebook page.
Thank you for the opportunity to be your voice in the state Senate. As always, please share any questions, comments, and concerns you may have about bills under consideration in the Legislature. I welcome your feedback.
Senator Jesse Salomon
32nd Legislative District