MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — More than a month before she and others will travel to Canada, Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Morgantown, spoke about the trip to raise awareness about the cost of insulin.
Fleischauer, Delegate Jordan Hill, R-Nicholas, and West Virginia Insulin for All are planning a one-day trip to Niagara Falls so people can purchase insulin. The cost of insulin in the United States doubled between 2012 and 2016.
“Everybody knows somebody who has it. We just didn’t realize people were dying from it because of the cost,” Fleischauer said. “I think it’s particularly important in West Virginia that our congressional delegation works together on this.”
Liz Rossi, a Morgantown resident, said a friend died after running out of insulin. Rossi said her friend rationed insulin while waiting for Medicaid benefits. She died from a diabetic coma.
“Even though there are safety nets there’s still failure within the system,” she said. “If insulin is not easy to access that’s cheap and affordable, people will die. People do die.”
Fleischauer said she and Hill are working on legislation to limit the co-pay for insulin. The measure is modeled after a Colorado law limiting the co-pay to $50. Fleischauer also noted she previously co-sponsored legislation allowing pharmacies to fill emergency prescriptions for life-saving medicine.
The trip is planned for Dec. 8; passports are needed to travel into Canada.