How California’s low cost insulin could pay itself back in more ways than one

Even if you don’t have diabetes, taxpayers currently help other Californians pay for Insulin. An expert says cheaper insulin is a win for everyone.

California is going to start producing its own insulin to help bring down the cost right now governor newsome says many people pay out of pocket costs up to 500 a month his office said his plan could cut that in half our political reporter morgan reiner joins us now morgan he’s using taxpayer dollars to start the process yes 100 million dollars in total as of

Right now but an expert told me if the program is successful it will pay for itself and more after that who said it first nothing nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin insulin has been the poster child for all that is wrong in the pharmaceutical markets dr jeffrey joyce is in complete agreement with newsome the price of insulin is high

Because it can be there are only three major makers joyce is the chair of the department of pharmaceutical and health economics at the usc school of pharmacy insulin is a what’s called a sort of a biologic right it is made from a living thing and so even though it was developed about 100 years ago we don’t have quite a perfect generic copy of it okay because each

Batch is going to be a little different and that has allowed these three major manufacturers to say hey our our stuff is is trusted and biologic there’s no fda approved generic until very recently for this and it’s even not a perfect generic and therefore they have a bit of a monopoly california wants to change that create a biosimilar version of insulin in the

State therefore the supply chain is not dependent on overseas production which some of this is newsom said he’s allocating 50 million to create the products while another 50 million will create the manufacturing facility a cost joyce says will start to pay itself back in several other ways if you’re fortunate enough to qualify for medi-cal your insulin costs are

Not too high the problem is the state is paying a fortune right because they’re paying um these these sort of uh exorbitantly high prices and that comes out of taxpayers bills so we all pay for that indirectly now newsome promises his first day in office years ago producing pharmaceuticals right here in california do we have a timeline for it we don’t know yet

Do we know where the facility is going to be again we don’t know yet either it has a high rate of diabetes one question people may ask though is it’s being manufactured here is it only going to be for people who live in california joyce believes it will start off with just being californians but if it is successful he doesn’t see why california wouldn’t sell the

Insulin to other states and other states might follow suit if they see how successful it is here in california it’ll be interesting a pilot program and those prices are really high for uh insulin so we’ll see if we can make a difference it would be a huge game changer morgan ryan reporting for us thanks morgan

Transcribed from video
How California's low cost insulin could pay itself back in more ways than one By CBS 8 San Diego