WASHINGTON – Two pieces of bipartisan legislation from U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, were signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Underwood’s bipartisan "Lower Insulin Costs Now Act" will reduce the cost of insulin by helping lower-cost, generic insulin become available sooner, according to a news release from Underwood's office issued on Monday. The law will allow the FDA to continue to review applications for generic insulin beyond the looming March 2020 cut-off date, creating access to new treatments that can lower the cost of insulin for those who rely on it to survive, according to the release. Underwod's office didn't include the date the legislation was signed.
More than 1 million Illinoisans are living with type I or type II diabetes, including one in four seniors and a growing number of children in America. Along with Underwood, the legislation was led by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Brett Guthrie and Mike Kelly.
"Over the past two decades, the cost of insulin has skyrocketed – it’s unaffordable," Underwood said in the release. "I've heard from countless families in our community about the hard decisions they make to afford their insulin, including rationing their supply or going without. This is unacceptable – more than 7 million Americans rely on insulin to survive," Underwood said. "There isn’t a person I won’t work with to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and I’m thrilled my colleagues in Congress and the President supported this advancement toward making lower-cost, generic insulin available more quickly."
The release states that Underwood also was successful in her efforts to secure $30 million in funding for an interoperable electronic health record for use across the Department of Homeland Security. Underwood’s legislation to establish this EHR – a top priority for DHS medical officials – and set standards for medical screenings at the border passed with bipartisan support in September.
"When I visited the border this year, I found the humanitarian situation overwhelming and unacceptable," Underwood said in the release. "The medical officials there explained they needed a better health record system to help them safely process migrants and prevent illness and death. I worked on legislation to solve that problem, and am pleased that the solution I identified and fought for received bipartisan support from my colleagues and was signed into law by the president.”
The legislation passed and was signed as part of the bipartisan, bicameral appropriations package for fiscal 2020, according to the release.