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January 9, 2020

Bills in Washington State Would Lower Price of Insulin, Other Prescriptions

It’s been 13 years since Dana Van Buecken, a nurse practitioner at BRI, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In that time, neither the dose nor the brand of insulin she uses has changed, but her cost has jumped from $70 a month to $600. She’s frustrated by the price hikes but at least is able to cover them. As a nurse practitioner, however, Van Buecken, 34, of Kenmore, sees many patients who must decide between buying insulin or paying rent. “It’s very sad, because if you’re willing to take the time to manage your diabetes, you can have a long life expectancy,” she said. “We’re making it cost prohibitive for people to do that.” Curbing escalating prescription drug prices will be a top priority for AARP Washington when the 2020 legislative session kicks off Jan. 13. It’s a particularly pressing issue for older adults, who tend to take more medications and often are living on fixed, limited incomes.