FILE - Insulin

Add Wisconsin to the list of states looking at price caps for insulin. 

Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, on Wednesday introduced a plan that he says would protect people who need insulin from price spikes that have rendered the drug unaffordable for some.

"People are being forced to make difficult and dangerous decisions due to the high cost of insulin resulting from greedy drug companies and insurance companies that are unwilling or unable to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses on this life-saving drug," Hansen said in a statement. 

Drug companies say it's not greed, but innovation that is driving the price spikes. Insulin makers say 90 percent of older versions of the drugs have been replaced. The companies say it costs money to do that. 

Hansen said he's gotten stories from people who say they cannot afford to pay more for the insulin that they need. 

"I’ve added a link to my official web page where people can go to share their stories or those of family members," Hansen said.

Hansen said there are stories from across the country where people are dying because their medicine has gone from $33 a vial back in 1996, to over $320 per-vial today. 

Hansen's plan would cap out of pocket insulin costs at $100 a month. He has support from other Democratic lawmakers as well as the American Diabetes Association.

Colorado became the first state in the nation to cap insulin costs earlier this year. Illinois is looking to do the same, and may do just that before the year is out. 

"Many of my colleagues in the Legislature don’t seem to realize or understand that this a genuine crisis,” Hansen said. 

Staff Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.