Central Virginia families react to new law capping insulin prices in the Commonwealth

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Thanks to House Bill 66, the price of insulin is now capped at $50 for a 30 day supply in Virginia, which certainly helps the more than 837,000 people in the Commonwealth who have diabetes.

“For us, it was scary because she was transported to the hospital and went into a coma,” said Carole Friend, Sadie’s mother.

For most families like the Friend’s, it can be eye-opening to learn that their child has diabetes.

“It was almost overwhelming. Just the amount of information that you had to learn, how to deal with the disease,” Brian Friend, Sadie’s father, said.

This is why Carole co-founded an organization called T1de, an acronym for Type 1 Diabetes Experience.

“It’s a local organization to help families. We give them information, and access to books through our book program, we even have coaching programs to help them learn and manage diabetes to the best of their ability,” said Carole.

Families like the Berryman’s, who just learned last year that their 7-year-old, Lauren has Type 1.

“It Was like a whirlwind, from that point on, we had to be admitted into the hospital for education to learn how to use all of the medications,” Rachel Berryman, Lauren’s mother, said.

To manage diabetes can be costly.

“One of those insulins is $750 for three months supply, and the other one is over $900,” said Brian.

While House Bill 66 can help families who have state-regulated health insurance — or The Virginia Health Exchange — for others, they feel more needs to be done by legislation.

“It’s not just the insulin that we have to pay for there are the doctor’s visits and my medications that I’m on,” said Sadie Friend, a diabetic.

“It could expand and more, and help with other supplies as well,” said Berryman.

Most families in the diabetic world feel House Bill 66 is a start, but they would like to see more change.

“A bill that would cap the price of insulin instead of the cap of copays would be more beneficial,” said Brian

Virginia is one of several states that has enacted legislation capping insulin prices. Other states with similar legislation include Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.

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