Delegate Barbara Fleischauer and 13 News Digital Reporter Erin Noon discuss prescription drug prices


NOW BACK TO “INSIDE WEST VIRGINIA POLITICS” WITH MARK CURTIS. WELCOME BACK TO OUR FINAL SEGMENT THIS WEEK ON “INSIDE WEST VIRGINIA POLITICS.” WE’RE GOING TO SWITCH GEARS. WE HAD THE THREE U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS FROM WEST VIRGINIA ON THE SHOW. NOW I WANT TO INTRODUCE DELEGATE BARBARA EVANS FLESHAUER. AND AARON NOON, ONE OF OUR MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISTS HERE. AND WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE INSULIN BILL THAT YOU INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES. WHAT WOULD IT DO? WELL, WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IS THAT THE PRICE OF INSULIN FOR PEOPLE WITH INSURANCE HAS SKYROCKETED. SO THE REST OF US PAY FIVE, 10, $20 A COPAY. PEOPLE THAT ARE DIABETIC, AND ESPECIALLY TYPE 1’S WHO TAKE FREQUENTLY TAKE MORE THAN ONE KIND OF INSULIN, THEY ARE PAYING UPWARDS OF $500 A MONTH FOR THEIR COPAY. NOT THEIR PREMIUM, NOT THEIR TEST STRIPS, NOT THEIR SYRINGES, BUT THEIR COPAY. AND IT’S JUST SKYROCKETED, AND PEOPLE WHO ARE TYPE 1 CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT INSULIN. SO FOR MANY WEST VIRGINIANS THIS IS JUST TOTALLY UNAFFORDABLE AND IT’S REALLY CRAZY. RECENTLY, ONE OF THE REASONS AARON IS HERE IS YOU RESPONSE SORED A BUS TOUR TO CANADA WHERE PEOPLE WENT AND BOUGHT INSULIN WHERE IT’S A LOT CHEAPER. GIVE US SOME PERSPECTIVE. I WENT ALONG, AND I WAS LIKE WOW, I’VE HEARD OF OTHER STATES DOING IT. I PERSONALLY AM A TYPE 1 DIABETIC, SO IT AFFECTS ME, AND IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE PEOPLE OUT THERE SAVING MONEY, AND WE JUST APPRECIATE YOU SETTING THIS ALL UP. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE FOR YOU GETTING THIS READY? WHAT WAS THE PROCESS? IT STARTED BECAUSE ONE OF MY CONSTITUENTS THANKED ME FOR SPONSORING A BILL WHERE A YOUNG PERSON DIED IN OHIO AND WE HAVE A BILL THAT SESSION IF YOU NEED AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY OF A MEDICATION, YOU CAN GET IT. HE DIED WHEN HIS INSULIN PRESCRIPTION RAN OUT ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, AND SHE SAID THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THE PRICE OF INSULIN, COLORADO HAS A COPAY CAP BILL, NOW ILLINOIS DOES, VIRGINIA HAS INTRODUCED ONE, WASHINGTON STATE HAS INTRODUCED ONE. AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE HAVE DONE IS THEY’VE GOTTEN PUBLICITY FOR THIS ISSUE, BY GOING TO CANADA. BECAUSE YOU CAN PAY A TENTH, A TENTH OF THE PRICE IN CANADA. SO I HAD MY VACATION SCHEDULED TO GO TO NIAGARA FALLS, I’M LIKE WE CAN DO THIS, IT’S ONLY FOUR AND A HALF HOURS FROM MORGANTOWN. SO WE STARTED ORGANIZING, IT WAS VERY STRESSFUL BECAUSE WE WERE A LITTLE UNSURE, WE WEREN’T POSITIVE WE WERE GOING TO GET BACK INTO THE COUNTRY BECAUSE IT’S KIND OF LIKE IMPORTING DRUGS, BUT THERE’S AN EXCEPTION IF YOU HAVE A THREE-MONTH SUPPLY AND YOU CARRY IT ON YOUR PERSON. SO WE WENT ON DECEMBER 8 AND WE CAME BACK AND EVERYTHING WORKED OUT FINE, AND WE GOT WHAT WE WANTED, WHICH IS TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS PROBLEM. WEST VIRGINIA IS NUMBER ONE IN THE COUNTRY WHEN IT COMES TO DIABETES, AND WE HAVE TYPE 2 AND TYPE 1, AND BOTH OF THEM ARE AFFECTED BY THIS PROBLEM. ERIN IS TYPE 1, I’M A TYPE 2. I DON’T TAKE INSULIN, I TAKE TRULICITY WHICH IS A DIFFERENT TYPE OF MEDICATION, I GET DISCOUNTS THROUGH THE MANUFACTURER, SO THAT HELPS. BUT TALK ABOUT THIS PAST WEEK, THE LEGISLATURE, THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES VOTED 99-0 ON A BILL THAT WOULD HELP LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES THROUGH THE DISCOUNTS OFFERED BY PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURERS. DO YOU THINK THERE’S GOING TO BE THAT KIND OF BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR THIS INSULIN BILL? I AM VERY PLEASED THAT THE CHAIR OF HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES, JORDAN HILL, HAS BEEN WORKING WITH ME ON THIS FROM THE BEGINNING. AND WE JUST HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE THIS WEEK TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE’RE GOING TO MOVE FORWARD ON THIS, SO YES, I HOPE IT WOULD BE 99-1 IF WE CAN PASS THIS. IT WAS ON THE AGENDA, WE’RE STILL WORKING ON THE WORDING OF THE BILL, BUT I’M HOPING IT WILL MOVE FORWARD NEXT WEEK. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU MENTIONED TO ME IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS YOU STARTED PURNING FOR THIS BILL IS YOU HEARD A LOT OF PERSONAL STORIES, YOU SAID THAT REALLY HIT HOME FOR YOU AND YOU WANTED TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF WEST VIRGINIA. YES. WELL, THE WOMAN WHO ASKED ME, WHO SAID THIS IS REALLY A PROBLEM, SHE HAS SPENT $20,000 IN 20 YEARS, INCLUDING — WAIT A MINUTE. $200,000 IN 20 YEARS. INCLUDING $40,000 WHEN SHE HAD HER BABY. BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE TYPE 1’S, THEY’RE AT RISK WHEN THEY, THEY’RE AT RISK WHEN THEY HAVE A COLD, AND ONE OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT WAS AT OUR PRESS CONFERENCE, HE SAID HE JUST WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR SEVERAL DAYS BECAUSE HE HAD A SPIKE IN HIS SUGAR. SO I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT IT FROM HER. BUT LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE WHO WENT ON THE BUS AND WHO CALLED ME AND SAID WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO CANADA AGAIN, AND WE HOPE IF WE PASS THIS BILL WE WON’T HAVE TO GO TO CANADA. TELL US THE BILL NUMBER SO FOLKS CAN GO ON THE INTERNET AND TRACK IT. THERE’S ONE THAT’S H.B.4078, THERE’S ANOTHER ONE ON THE SENATE SIDE, I THINK THERE WILL BE A THIRD ONE COMING OUT OF HOUSE, HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES WHICH WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT NUMBER. BUT YES, THEY CAN MONITOR THE BILLS ON THE LEGISLATIVE WEBSITE. ALL RIGHT, WEERL KEEP ON IT HERE ON OUR NEWSCAST AS WELL. WE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING “INSIDE WEST VIRGINIA POLITICS” THIS WEEK. REMEMBER, DOWNLOAD US FROM YOUR FAVORITE POD CAST LOCATION. WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE NEXT WEEK.

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