Senate committee considers Daley legislation to improve access to insulin

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley was joined by Tammy Martin and Jillene Verdier of T1 International Thursday afternoon in support of legislation before the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services.

Martin and Verdier are both members of the Michigan Chapter of T1 International, a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to promoting accessibility to insulin for people with diabetes.

The two traveled to Lansing to join Daley in support of legislation recently introduced by the senator: Senate Bills 155 and 156.  

“Individuals who rely on insulin should never find themselves in a situation where they are unable to access their medication,” said Daley, R-Lum. “This can be a life-threatening situation and all of the burdensome red tape provides nothing to help those in need. We need some protections in place for those who rely on insulin in their day-to-day lives.”

SB 155 would allow pharmacists to dispense up to a 30-day supply of insulin to an individual if the individual has no current refills on file, but they have a preexisting relationship with that pharmacy, and the pharmacist cannot get hold of the original prescriber.

SB 156 would amend the Insurance Code so an emergency refill dispensed in this situation would be covered by an individual’s health insurance.

Similar legislation has been approved by 38 other states as a result of tireless advocacy from Kevin Houdeshell’s family.

In 2014, over New Year’s weekend, Houdeshell’s prescription for insulin ran out and he was unable to contact his doctor’s office to obtain a new prescription. He was turned away from the pharmacy and sent home without insulin. Houdeshell began rationing his doses, and a lack of insulin in his system led to diabetic ketoacidosis and his tragic death.

“This young man needed help and was unfortunately turned away,” Daley said. “Unfortunately, we saw the tragic result of what can happen in these circumstances. I am happy to see states across the nation taking this problem seriously and I’m going to continue working to make sure Michigan is one of them.”

SBs 155 and 156 will remain before the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services for further consideration.

###

Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorKevinDaley.com. Click on “Photos” under the In the News tab.

Photo caption: State Sen. Kevin Daley, R-Lum and Jillene Verdier listen as Tammy Smith (left) testifies before the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services in support of Daley’s legislation, Senate Bills 155 and 156 Thursday afternoon. Martin and Verdier are both members of the Michigan Chapter of T1 International, a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to promoting accessibility to insulin for people with diabetes.